Essay about Insulin, Glucagon and Somatostatin

Essay about Insulin, Glucagon and Somatostatin

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Insulin, Glucagon and Somatostatin

The principal role of the pancreatic hormones is the regulation of
whole-body energy metabolism, principally by regulating the
concentration and activity of numerous enzymes involved in catabolism
and anabolism of the major cell energy supplies.

The earliest of these hormones recognized was insulin, whose major
function is to counter the concerted action of a number of
hyperglycemia-generating hormones and to maintain low blood glucose
levels. Because there are numerous hyperglycemic hormones, untreated
disorders associated with insulin generally lead to severe
hyperglycemia and shortened life span. Insulin is a member of a family
of structurally and functionally similar molecules that include the
insulin-like growth factors (IGF-1 and IGF-2), and relaxin. The
tertiary structure of all 4 molecules is similar, and all have
growth-promoting activities, but the dominant role of insulin is
metabolic while the dominant roles of the IGFs and relaxin are in the
regulation of cell growth and differentiation.

Insulin is synthesized as a preprohormone in the b cells of the islets
of Langerhans. Its signal peptide is removed in the cisternae of the
endoplasmic reticulum and it is packaged into secretory vesicles in
the Golgi, folded to its native structure, and locked in this
conformation by the formation of 2 disulfide bonds. Specific protease
activity cleaves the center third of the molecule, which dissociates
as C peptide, leaving the amino terminal B peptide disulfide bonded to
the carboxy terminal A peptide.

Insulin secretion from b cells is principally regulated by plasma
glucose levels, but...


... middle of paper ...


...s to
adenylate cyclase. The resultant increases in cAMP and PKA reverse all
of the effects described above that insulin has on liver. The
increases also lead to a marked elevation of circulating glucose, with
the glucose being derived from liver gluconeogenesis and liver
glycogenolysis.

Somatostatin, secreted by d cells of the pancreas, is a 14--amino acid
peptide, identical to somatostatin secreted by the hypothalamus. In
neural tissue somatostatin inhibits GH secretion and thus has systemic
effects. In the pancreas, somatostatin acts a paracrine inhibitor of
other pancreatic hormones and thus also has systemic effects. It has
been speculated that somatostatin secretion responds principally to
blood glucose levels, increasing as blood glucose levels rise and thus
leading to down-regulation of glucagon secretion.

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