Amedeo Vetere is a research scientist in the Chemical Biology Program at the Broad Institute. Vetere studies the effects of small molecules on pancreatic beta-cells in type 1 and 2 diabetes.
In both type 1 and 2 diabetes, beta-cells in the pancreas are depleted, resulting in reduced levels of the hormone insulin and dysregulation of glucose levels in the blood. Scientists are searching for ways to reverse the reduction of beta-cell mass in diabetes as a potential treatment strategy. One of the most interesting possibilities for doing this is to exploit the inherent, albeit limited, capacity of beta-cells to regenerate.
A rare endocrine tumor syndrome called multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) offers important insights into the molecular mechanisms that control beta-cell replication. The Menin protein is a tumor suppressor that, when mutated, can cause MEN1. In the pancreas, Menin specifically targets beta-cells and acts as an on/off switch to control the proliferation of beta-cells. Vetere aims to selectively target Menin’s interaction with a related protein, MLL, using small molecules and potentially increase the number of insulin-producing beta-cells.
Prior to joining the Broad in November 2010, Vetere was a visiting scientist at Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston from 2004 to 2010, and an assistant professor in biochemistry from 1999 to 2010 at the University of Trieste (Italy), where he also earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry.Select Publications
Vetere A, et al. OVO homologue-like 1 (Ovol1) transcription factor: a novel target of neurogenin-3 in rodent pancreas. Diabetologia. 2010 Jan;53(1):115-22. Epub 2009 Oct 31.
Marsich E, et al. The PAX6 gene is activated by the basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor NeuroD/BETA2. Biochem J. 2003 Dec 15;376(Pt 3):707-15.
Vetere A, et al. Neurogenin3 triggers beta-cell differentiation of retinoic acid-derived endoderm cells. Biochem J. 2003 May 1;371(Pt 3):831-41.