Nutrient regulation of insulin gene expression

Kevin Docherty*, Andrew R. Clark

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

124 Citations (Scopus)


The β cell of the islets of Langerhans contributes along with other factors to glucose homeostasis by sensing changes in the plasma glucose concentrations and adjusting the rate of insulin production and release. Over short periods of time, insulin production is controlled principally through translation of pre-existing mRNA. Over longer periods, insulin mRNA levels are modulated through effects on the rate of transcription of the insulin gene, and also through changes in the rate of decay of insulin mRNA. These long-term effects may be important in allowing the β cell to adapt to changes in diet or periods of fasting. Several mechanisms involved in the control of the rate of translation of insulin mRNA have been described. Effects of glucose metabolism on the turnover of insulin mRNA have yet to be characterized in detail. At the level of transcription, cis-acting DNA elements and trans-acting factors involved in the transient response of the insulin gene to changes in intracellular cAMP levels, or to signals generated as a result of glucose metabolism, have been identified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-27
Number of pages8
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1994


  • islets of Langerhans
  • transcription

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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