Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.381, No.3, 378-382, 2009
Complementary expression of SN1 and SAT2 in the islets of Langerhans suggests concerted action of glutamine transport in the regulation of insulin secretion
Insulin and glucagon secretion from the islets of Langerhans is highly regulated. Although an increased plasma glucose level is the major stimulus for insulin exocytosis, roles for glutamine and glutamate have been suggested. Interestingly, the islet cells display elements associated with synaptic transmission. In the central nervous system (CNS), glutamine transport by SN1 and SAT2 sustain the generation of neurotransmitter glutamate. We hypothesized that the same transporters are essential for glutamine transport into the islet cells and for subsequent formation of glutamate acting as an intracellular signaling molecule. We demonstrate that islet cells express several transporters which can mediate glutamine transport. In particular, we show pronounced expression of SN1 and SAT2 in B-cells and A-cells, respectively. The cell-specific expression of these transporters together with their functional characteristics suggest an important role for glutamine in the regulation of insulin secretion. (C) 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.