Just attended interesting talk by Professor Natasha Hill, Kingston University: http://www.kingston.ac.uk/staff/profile/dr-natasha-hill-117/
They looked at SPARC and recombinant SPARC effects on inhibiting cell growth or promoting cell growth in pancreatic cancer but also SPARC effect in beta cell production and growth. SPARC is known to be expressed in adipose tissue, regulated by metabolic factors. They found SPARC in stromal cells around a pancreatic tumour, not the ductal cells.
They used a 3D collagen matrix. They have found effects such as different members of SPARC ‘family’ of proteins inhibiting different amounts of beta cell adhesion and insulin secretion by also analysing the role of actin organisation in the cells.