, Volume 55, Issue 8, pp 2096-2108

Cell signalling in insulin secretion: the molecular targets of ATP, cAMP and sulfonylurea

  • S. SeinoAffiliated withDivision of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Department of Internal Medicine, Kobe University Graduate School of MedicineDivision of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, Kobe University Graduate School of MedicineCore Research for Evolutional Science and Technology (CREST), Japan Science and Technology Corp. Email author 


Clarification of the molecular mechanisms of insulin secretion is crucial for understanding the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of diabetes and for development of novel therapeutic strategies for the disease. Insulin secretion is regulated by various intracellular signals generated by nutrients and hormonal and neural inputs. In addition, a variety of glucose-lowering drugs including sulfonylureas, glinide-derivatives, and incretin-related drugs such as dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP-4) inhibitors and glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists are used for glycaemic control by targeting beta cell signalling for improved insulin secretion. There has been a remarkable increase in our understanding of the basis of beta cell signalling over the past two decades following the application of molecular biology, gene technology, electrophysiology and bioimaging to beta cell research. This review discusses cell signalling in insulin secretion, focusing on the molecular targets of ATP, cAMP and sulfonylurea, an essential metabolic signal in glucose-induced insulin secretion (GIIS), a critical signal in the potentiation of GIIS, and the commonly used glucose-lowering drug, respectively.


ATP cAMP Epac Incretin Insulin secretion KATP channel Review Sulfonylurea