An oscillatory increase in pancreatic β cell cytoplasmic free Ca 2+ concentration, [Ca2+]i, is a key feature in glucose-induced insulin release. The role of the voltage-gated Ca2+ channel β3 subunit in the molecular regulation of these [Ca 2+]i oscillations has now been clarified by using β3 subunit-deficient β cells. β3 knockout mice showed a more efficient glucose homeostasis compared to wild-type mice due to increased glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. This resulted from an increased glucose-induced [Ca2+]i oscillation frequency in β cells lacking the β3 subunit, an effect accounted for by enhanced formation of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (InsP3) and increased Ca2+ mobilization from intracellular stores. Hence, the β3 subunit negatively modulated InsP3-induced Ca 2+ release, which is not paralleled by any effect on the voltage-gated L type Ca2+ channel. Since the increase in insulin release was manifested only at high glucose concentrations, blocking the β3 subunit in the β cell may constitute the basis for a novel diabetes therapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)