KEGG    Insulin secretion - Homo sapiens (human) Help
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Pancreatic beta cells are specialised endocrine cells that continuously sense the levels of blood sugar and other fuels and, in response, secrete insulin to maintain normal fuel homeostasis. Glucose-induced insulin secretion and its potentiation constitute the principal mechanism of insulin release. Glucose is transported by the glucose transporter (GLUT) into the pancreatic beta-cell. Metabolism of glucose generates ATP, which inhibits ATP-sensitive K+ channels and causes voltage-dependent Ca2+ influx. Elevation of [Ca2+]i triggers exocytotic release of insulin granules. Insulin secretion is further regulated by several hormones and neurotransmitters. Peptide hormones, such as glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), increase cAMP levels and thereby potentiate insulin secretion via the combined action of PKA and Epac2. Achetylcholine (ACh), a major parasympathetic neurotransmitter, binds to Gq-coupled receptors and activates phospholipase C- (PLC-), and the stimulatory effects involve activation of protein kinase C (PKC), which stimulates exocytosis. In addition, ACh mobilizes intracellular Ca2+ by activation of IP3 receptors.