Inositides are involved in regulating the insulin release from the pancreatic beta cell. New findings are published in Advances in Biological Regulation in September 2012.
Inositides take an active part in regulating many vital processes in all cells in the organism. Depending on its primary function, cells have a specific footprint of what inositides they contain.
Over the last 20 years, there has been a growing understanding of the molecular processes within the insulin-producing beta cells under both healthy and diabetic conditions. Along with understanding the beta cells comes the knowledge on the role inositides play in the regulation of insulin release.
Professor Per-Olof Berggren’s research group in Karolinska Institutet has made three major advances in this field:
- Ins(1,4,5)P3 mobilizes calcium ions, Ca2+, from intracellular stores. This is important for Ca2+ dynamics and thereby pancreatic beta cell function and survival.
- A defect in generation of IP7 (also called 5-PP-InsP5) may lead to a reduction in the first phase of insulin release. Reduced first phase is an early indication of type 2 diabetes
- When beta-cells release insulin, they signal back to the cell to produce more insulin through a PI3K signalling pathway. This feedback mechanism is important to maintain beta cell concentration of insulin, which thereby keep blood sugar at normal levels.