The pancreatic β-cell glucose sensor

Shimon Efrat*, Michael Tal, Harvey F. Lodish

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pancreatic β cells secrete insulin in response to an increase in the level of blood glucose above 5mm, which is characteristic of the fasting state. Glucose metabolism is essential for glucose sensing, and both the high-Km glucose transporter GLUT2 and the high-Km glucose phosphorylating enzyme glucokinase have been implicated in coupling insulin secretion to extracellular glucose levels. Experiments in isolated islets, immortalized β-cell lines and transgenic animals, together with findings in humans with maturity-onset diabetes of the young, indicate that the primary β-cell glucose sensor is glucokinase. Although the level of GLUT2 is frequently reduced in animal models of type II diabetes, GLUT2 does not limit glucose metabolism in β cells and does not appear to regulate glucose induction of insulin secretion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)535-538
Number of pages4
JournalTrends in Biochemical Sciences
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1994
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'The pancreatic β-cell glucose sensor'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this