The pancreatic β-cell ATP-sensitive K(+) channel (K(ATP) channel) plays a critical role in glucose homeostasis by linking glucose metabolism to electrical excitability and insulin secretion. Changes in the intracellular ratio of ATP/ADP mediate the metabolic regulation of channel activity. The β-cell K(ATP) channel is a hetero-octameric complex composed of two types of subunits: four inward-rectifying potassium channel pore-forming (Kir6.2) subunits and four high-affinity sulfonylurea receptor 1 (SUR1) subunits. Kir6.2 and SUR1 are encoded by the genes KCNJ11 and ABCC8, respectively. Mutations in these genes can result in congenital hyperinsulinism and permanent neonatal diabetes. This review highlights the important role of the β-cell K(ATP) channel in glucose physiology and provides an introduction to some of the other review articles in this special edition of the Reviews in Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders.