Research Article

Lipid transport by TMEM24 at ER–plasma membrane contacts regulates pulsatile insulin secretion

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Science  17 Feb 2017:
Vol. 355, Issue 6326, eaah6171
DOI: 10.1126/science.aah6171

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Understanding insulin release

Insulin release takes place in two phases: a first rapid burst followed by a series of small exocytic bursts that coincide with pulsatile spikes in cytosolic Ca2+ levels. The second phase is impaired in patients with type II diabetes, underscoring the importance of understanding its molecular basis. Lees et al. report a mechanism through which TMEM24, a lipid transport protein that concentrates at endoplasmic reticulum–plasma membrane contact sites, regulates the pulsatility of cytosolic Ca2+ and phosphoinositide signaling. This process in turn regulates pulsatile insulin secretion during the slow insulin release phase.

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