Islet G protein-coupled receptors as potential targets for treatment of type 2 diabetes

Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2009 May;8(5):369-85. doi: 10.1038/nrd2782. Epub 2009 Apr 14.


Islet dysfunction - characterized by a combination of defective insulin secretion, inappropriately high glucagon secretion and reduced beta-cell mass - has a central role in the pathophysiology of type 2 diabetes. Several G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) expressed in islet beta-cells are known to be involved in the regulation of islet function, and therefore are potential therapeutic targets. This is evident from the recent success of glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP1) mimetics and dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4) inhibitors, which promote activation of the GLP1 receptor to stimulate insulin secretion and inhibit glucagon secretion, and also have the potential to increase beta-cell mass. Other islet beta-cell GPCRs that are involved in the regulation of islet function include the glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (GIP) receptor, lipid GPCRs, pleiotropic peptide GPCRs and islet biogenic amine GPCRs. This Review summarizes islet GPCR expression, signalling and function, and highlights their potential as targets for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism*
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods*
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Islets of Langerhans / drug effects
  • Islets of Langerhans / metabolism*
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism*


  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled