Abstract

Sulfonylureas are a class of drugs widely used to promote insulin secretion in the treatment of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. These drugs interact with the sulfonylurea receptor of pancreatic beta cells and inhibit the conductance of adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-dependent potassium (KATP) channels. Cloning of complementary DNAs for the high-affinity sulfonylurea receptor indicates that it is a member of the ATP-binding cassette or traffic ATPase superfamily with multiple membrane-spanning domains and two nucleotide binding folds. The results suggest that the sulfonylurea receptor may sense changes in ATP and ADP concentration, affect KATP channel activity, and thereby modulate insulin release.

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