Metabolic cycles and signals for insulin secretion

Cell Metab. 2022 Jul 5;34(7):947-968. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2022.06.003. Epub 2022 Jun 20.


In this review, we focus on recent developments in our understanding of nutrient-induced insulin secretion that challenge a key aspect of the "canonical" model, in which an oxidative phosphorylation-driven rise in ATP production closes KATP channels. We discuss the importance of intrinsic β cell metabolic oscillations; the phasic alignment of relevant metabolic cycles, shuttles, and shunts; and how their temporal and compartmental relationships align with the triggering phase or the secretory phase of pulsatile insulin secretion. Metabolic signaling components are assigned regulatory, effectory, and/or homeostatic roles vis-à-vis their contribution to glucose sensing, signal transmission, and resetting the system. Taken together, these functions provide a framework for understanding how allostery, anaplerosis, and oxidative metabolism are integrated into the oscillatory behavior of the secretory pathway. By incorporating these temporal as well as newly discovered spatial aspects of β cell metabolism, we propose a much-refined MitoCat-MitoOx model of the signaling process for the field to evaluate.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Insulin Secretion
  • Islets of Langerhans* / metabolism


  • Insulin
  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • Glucose