MAPK Signaling Pathways in Pancreatic Beta Cells: The Regulation of RAF Activation by Nutrient Stimuli




Duan, Lingling

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In pancreatic β cells cells, ERK1 and ERK2 participate in nutrient sensing and their activities rise and fall as a function of glucose concentration over the physiologic range. Glucose metabolism triggers calcium influx and release of calcium from intracellular stores which are required for ERK1/2 activity. Calcium influx also activates the calcium-dependent phosphatase calcineurin, which is required for maximal ERK1/2 activation by glucose. Calcineurin controls insulin gene expression by ERK1/2-dependent and -independent mechanisms. This study showed that in β cells, glucose activates the ERK1/2 cascade primarily through B-Raf. Glucose also enhances dimerization of B-Raf with C-Raf. Furthermore, calcineurin up-regulates B-Raf activity and stabilizes C-Raf/B-Raf in response to glucose. Calcineurin binds to B-Raf in both unstimulated and stimulated cells. B-Raf phospho-T401 is one of the target sites that can be dephosphorylated by calcineurin. This study reveals that cross-talk between Raf and calcineurin is essential for the maximal activation of ERK1/2 in the glucose signaling pathways. [Keywords: TCF; POP-1; Wnt; embryogenesis; C. elegans]

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