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Important questions remain concerning how elevated blood glucose levels are coupled to insulin secretion from pancreatic beta cells and how this process is impaired in type 2 diabetes. Glucose uptake and metabolism in beta cells cause the intracellular Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+)](i)) to increase to a degree necessary and sufficient for triggering insulin release. Although both Ca(2+) influx and Ca(2+) release from internal stores are critical, the roles of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP(3)) and cyclic adenosine dinucleotide phosphate ribose (cADPR) in regulating the latter have proven equivocal. Here we show that glucose also increases [Ca(2+)](i) via the novel Ca(2+)-mobilizing agent nicotinic acid adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NAADP) in the insulin-secreting beta-cell line MIN6. NAADP binds to specific, high-affinity membrane binding sites and at low concentrations elicits robust Ca(2+) responses in intact cells. Higher concentrations of NAADP inactivate NAADP receptors and attenuate the glucose-induced Ca(2+) increases. Importantly, glucose stimulation increases endogenous NAADP levels, providing strong evidence for recruitment of this pathway. In conclusion, our results support a model in which NAADP mediates glucose-induced Ca(2+) signaling in pancreatic beta cells and are the first demonstration in mammalian cells of the presence of endogenous NAADP levels that can be regulated by a physiological stimulus.

Original publication




Journal article


Curr Biol

Publication Date





247 - 251


Animals, Calcium, Cell Line, Glucose, Insulin, Islets of Langerhans, Mice, NADP, Radioligand Assay, Second Messenger Systems