Insulin and Glucagon


Insulin and glucagon are reciprocal hormones which regulate plasma glucose concentrations. Together, these hormones maintain blood glucose in a narrow range, despite wide variances in glucose production and utilization by the body.

Keywords: glucose metabolism; signal transduction; diabetes

Figure 1.

Insulin signal transduction pathways. P, tyrosine phosphorylated residues; GSK‐3, glycogen synthase kinase‐3; PP1, protein phosphatase type 1; GluT, glucose transporter; PI3′‐K, phosphatidylinositol 3′‐kinase catalytic subunit; p85, PI3′‐K regulatory subunit; PKB, protein kinase B; IRS, ; MAPK, kinase. Defined signalling pathways are shown in solid lines, proposed pathways by dashed lines.

Figure 2.

Molecular mechanism of glucose‐induced insulin secretion from β cells. ATP, adenosine triphosphate; GluT, glucose transporter; VSCC, voltage‐sensitive calcium channel. X indicates that the potassium channel is closed. See text for further details.

Figure 3.

Aetiology of the development of type II diabetes.



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Further Reading

DeFronzo RA (1997) Pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes: metabolic and molecular implications for identifying diabetes genes. Diabetes Reviews 5: 177–269.

Jeffers JD, Macrow A, LaBarbera M and Armstrong T (1978) Metabolism. In: White A, Handler P, Smith EL, Hill RL and Lehman IR (eds) Principles of Biochemistry, pp. 266–901. New York: McGraw‐Hill.

Saltiel AR (1998) Cellular mechanisms of signal transduction for growth factors. Advances in Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 2: 83–97.

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Brady, Matthew J, and Saltiel, Alan R(Apr 2001) Insulin and Glucagon. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0000638]