Pancreatic β-cells play a central role in the maintenance glucose homeostasis by secreting insulin, a key hormone that regulates blood glucose levels. Dysfunction of the β-cells and/or a decrease in the β-cell mass are associated closely with the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of diabetes mellitus, a major metabolic disease that is rapidly increasing worldwide. Clarification of the mechanisms of insulin secretion and β-cell fate provides a basis for the understanding of diabetes and its better treatment. In this review, we discuss cell signaling critical for the insulin secretory function based on our recent studies.
(Communicated by Hiroo IMURA, M.J.A.)
2010 The Japan Academy