Calcineurin/NFAT signaling in the beta-cell: from diabetes to new therapeutics BIOESSAYS Heit, J. J. 2007; 29 (10): 1011-1021


Pancreatic beta-cells in the islet of Langerhans produce the hormone insulin, which maintains blood glucose homeostasis. Perturbations in beta-cell function may lead to impairment of insulin production and secretion and the onset of diabetes mellitus. Several essential beta-cell factors have been identified that are required for normal beta-cell function, including six genes that when mutated give rise to inherited forms of diabetes known as Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young (MODY). However, the intracellular signaling pathways that control expression of MODY and other factors continue to be revealed. Post-transplant diabetes mellitus in patients taking the calcineurin inhibitors tacrolimus (FK506) or cyclosporin A indicates that calcineurin and its substrate the Nuclear Factor of Activated T-cells (NFAT) may be required for beta-cell function. Here recent advances in our understanding of calcineurin and NFAT signaling in the beta-cell are reviewed. Novel therapeutic approaches for the treatment of diabetes are also discussed.

View details for DOI 10.1002/bies.20644

View details for PubMedID 17876792