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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1991 Aug 15;178(3):1182-7.

Measuring the balance between insulin synthesis and insulin release.

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Dept. of Biochemistry, Faculteit Geneeskunde, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium.


The absolute rates of hormone synthesis and release were determined in purified pancreatic B cells. Newly synthesized proteins were labeled with L-[3,5-3H]tyrosine or L-[2,5-3H]histidine. When medium glucose was less than or equal to 10 mM, the production of insulin exceeded or equaled its release. Raising the glucose levels above 10 mM did not further increase the rate of insulin synthesis (67 +/- 10 fmol/10(3) cells/2 hour) but elevated that of insulin release up to 3-fold the production rates (181 +/- 10 fmol/10(3) cells/2 hour). In the presence of glucagon or of the phorbol ester 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate the cells also released 3-fold more hormone that they synthesized; release was however reduced to 25% of the rate of production in the presence of epinephrine. It is concluded that glucose as well as hormonal regulators of islet B cells can influence, bi-directionally, the balance between the rates of insulin synthesis and release.

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