After a meal the blood sugar rises . To counteract this and to make sugar available to the body, specialised cells in the pancreas get activated to secrete insulin. In people with diabetes, this mechanism fails, which leads to elevated blood sugar and a host of other diabetes related complications.
The cellular signal for insulin secretion is an influx of calcium which triggers the release of small hormone containing vesicles. Recent research works indicate that a tiny change in the cells architecture is at the heart of secretion defect.
Using high resolution microscopy, the research group found that calcium normally enters right next to storage vesicles to trigger insulin release. In type 2 diabetes the channel proteins that allow calcium the entry are instead located too far away from insulin vesicles which cause secretion to fail. The findings after a first glimpse at the intricate relationship between insulin secretion machinery and calcium channels suggests that drugs aimed at at their interaction could be developed to treat diabetes .