Editors' ChoiceCircadian Biology

The clockwork of insulin release

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Science Signaling  10 Nov 2015:
Vol. 8, Issue 402, pp. ec333
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aad8182

In healthy people, blood glucose levels are maintained within a narrow range by several physiological mechanisms. Key among them is the release of the hormone insulin by pancreatic β cells, which occurs when glucose levels increase after a meal. In response to insulin, blood glucose is taken up by tissues that need fuel, such as muscle. Pancreatic β cells can anticipate the body's varying demand for insulin throughout the 24-hour day, because they have their own circadian clock. Perelis et al. showed that the activity of transcriptional enhancers specific to β cells regulates the rhythmic expression of genes involved in the assembly and trafficking of insulin secretory vesicles (see the Perspective by Dibner and Schibler).

M. Perelis, B. Marcheva, K. M. Ramsey, M. J. Schipma, A. L. Hutchison, A. Taguchi, C. B. Peek, H. Hong, W. Huang, C. Omura, A. L. Allred, C. A. Bradfield, A. R. Dinner, G. D. Barish, J. Bass, Pancreatic β cell enhancers regulate rhythmic transcription of genes controlling insulin secretion. Science 350, aac4250 (2015). [Abstract] [Full Text]

C. Dibner, U. Schibler, A pancreatic clock times insulin release. Science 350, 628–629 (2015). [Abstract] [Full Text]

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