Minireview: nesfatin-1--an emerging new player in the brain-gut, endocrine, and metabolic axis

Endocrinology. 2011 Nov;152(11):4033-8. doi: 10.1210/en.2011-1500. Epub 2011 Aug 23.


Nesfatin-1 is a recently identified 82-amino-acid peptide derived from the precursor protein, nucleobindin2 (NUCB2). The brain distribution of NUCB2/nesfatin-1 at the mRNA and protein level along with functional studies in rodents support a role for NUCB2/nesfatin-1 as a novel satiety molecule acting through leptin-independent mechanisms. In addition, nesfatin-1 induces a wide spectrum of central actions to stimulate the pituitary-adrenal axis and sympathetic nervous system and influences visceral functions and emotion. These central actions combined with the activation of NUCB2/nesfatin-1 neurons in the brain by various stressors are indicative of a role in the adaptive response under stressful conditions. In the periphery, evidence is mounting that nesfatin-1 exerts a direct glucose-dependent insulinotropic action on β-cells of the pancreatic islets. However, the cellular mechanisms of nesfatin-1's action remain poorly understood, partly because the receptor through which nesfatin-1 exerts its pleiotropic actions is yet to be identified.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Endocrine System / metabolism*
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology*
  • Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System / metabolism
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism*
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Nucleobindins
  • Pituitary-Adrenal System / metabolism
  • Sympathetic Nervous System / metabolism


  • Calcium-Binding Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Nucleobindins