ATP-sensitive K+ channels (KATP channels) play important roles in many cellular functions by coupling cell metabolism to electrical activity. The KATP channels in pancreatic beta-cells are thought to be critical in the regulation of glucose-induced and sulfonylurea-induced insulin secretion. Until recently, however, the molecular structure of the KATP channel was not known. Cloning members of the novel inwardly rectifying K+ channel subfamily Kir6.0 (Kir6.1 and Kir6.2) and the sulfonylurea receptors (SUR1 and SUR2) has clarified the molecular structure of KATP channels. The pancreatic beta-cell KATP channel comprises two subunits: a Kir6.2 subunit and an SUR1 subunit. Molecular biological and molecular genetic studies have provided insights into the physiological and pathophysiological roles of the pancreatic beta-cell KATP channel in insulin secretion.
If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.