Ma et al (2019) recently published a paper on the quantification of human pancreatic extracellular matrix proteins in the Journal of Proteome Research.
In this study, researchers characterized the composition of the human pancreatic extracellular matrix (ECM) before and after decellularization. To find the relative quantification of ECM proteins, they used isobaric dimethylated leucine (DiLeu) labeling.
It was important for researchers to look at the ECM of the pancreatic microenvironment as it is essential to pancreatic function– it regulates β cell proliferation, differentiation, and insulin secretion.
As a result of decellularization, and through quantitative proteomic analysis, most cellular proteins were removed while matrisome proteins remained. This process generated a large data set of matrisome proteins from a single tissue type.
Researchers then quantified the distinct expression of ECM proteins, comparing adult and fetal pancreas ECM. This revealed a correlation between matrix composition and postnatal β cell maturation.
Overall, the results of this study sheds light on the prospect of bioengineering a pancreas. Additionally, the study demonstrates the roles that matrisome proteins have in postnatal β cell maturation.