The release of insulin by pancreatic β-cells involves a complex interplay of conductances that generate oscillations and drive secretion. A recent report identifies a new player in this process, the ion channel TRPM 5. TRPM 5 was originally identified in taste cells, where it forms a Ca2+-activated cation channel that is required for sensory responses to bitter and sweet tastes. New research now shows that TRPM 5 is expressed within the pancreatic islets of Langerhans, where it regulates the frequency of Ca2+ oscillations and contributes to insulin release by β-cell
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