Ant study sheds light on the evolution of workers and queens

Worker ants, despite their diligence, seldom encounter opportunities for social mobility. In many species, individuals adhere to strict caste roles: queens lay eggs and workers take care of almost everything else, including ...

Predatory sea snails produce weaponized insulin

As predators go, cone snails are slow-moving and lack the typical fighting parts. They've made up for it by producing a vast array of fast-acting toxins that target the nervous systems of prey. A new study reveals that some ...

Security experts sound medical device malware alarm

(Phys.org)—Speakers at a government gathering revealed more reasons for nervous patients to get out their worry beads over future hospital stays. Besides staph infections, wrong-side surgeries and inaccurate dosages, there ...

Soft spheres settle in somewhat surprising structure

Latex paints and drug suspensions such as insulin or amoxicillin that do not need to be shaken or stirred may be possible thanks to a new understanding of how particles separate in liquids, according to Penn State chemical ...

Blue light enables genes to turn on

(Medical Xpress) -- With a combination of synthetic biology and optogenetics, researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute for Technology published a paper in Science outlining their new technique which enables certain genes ...

Leptin-controlled gene can reverse diabetes

Researchers have found that even a very little bit of the fat hormone leptin goes a long way when it comes to correcting diabetes. The hormone controls the activity of a gene known as IGFBP2 in the liver, which has antidiabetic ...

Nanodiamonds deliver insulin for wound healing

(PhysOrg.com) -- Bacterial infection is a major health threat to patients with severe burns and other kinds of serious wounds such as traumatic bone fractures. Recent studies have identified an important new weapon for fighting ...

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Insulin

More reference expression data

Insulin is a hormone that has extensive effects on metabolism and other body functions, such as vascular compliance. Insulin causes cells in the liver, muscle, and fat tissue to take up glucose from the blood, storing it as glycogen in the liver and muscle, and stopping use of fat as an energy source. When insulin is absent (or low), glucose is not taken up by body cells, and the body begins to use fat as an energy source, for example, by transfer of lipids from adipose tissue to the liver for mobilization as an energy source. As its level is a central metabolic control mechanism, its status is also used as a control signal to other body systems (such as amino acid uptake by body cells). It has several other anabolic effects throughout the body. When control of insulin levels fails, diabetes mellitus results.

Insulin is used medically to treat some forms of diabetes mellitus. Patients with Type 1 diabetes mellitus depend on external insulin (most commonly injected subcutaneously) for their survival because the hormone is no longer produced internally. Patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus are insulin resistant, and because of such resistance, may suffer from a relative insulin deficiency. Some patients with Type 2 diabetes may eventually require insulin when other medications fail to control blood glucose levels adequately.

Insulin is a peptide hormone composed of 51 amino acids and has a molecular weight of 5808 Da. It is produced in the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. The name comes from the Latin insula for "island".

Insulin's structure varies slightly between species of animal. Insulin from animal sources differs somewhat in 'strength' (in carbohydrate metabolism control effects) in humans because of those variations. Porcine (pig) insulin is especially close to the human version.

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