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The University of Southampton
Interdisciplinary Research Excellence

KATP channels and neonatal diabetes: from bench to bedside Event

11 March 2013
Building 85, Room 2207

For more information regarding this event, please email Lynda Walsh at .

Event details

Centre for Biological Sciences Part of the External Seminar Series

Speaker: Professor Frances Ashcroft, University of Oxford

ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channels conduct potassium ions across cell membranes and thereby couple cellular energy metabolism to membrane electrical activity. They play important functional roles in a variety of tissues, from insulin secretion from pancreatic beta-cells to electrical activity of brain neurones. As a result, mutations in KATP channel genes result in a range of diseases including neonatal diabetes mellitus, hyperinsulinism, epilepsy and cardiomyopathy. The KATP channel is also the target for the antidiabetic sulphonylurea drugs, which stimulate insulin secretion by closing the channel.  

This seminar will describe how the KATP channel regulates insulin secretion and how dysfunctional channel activity can result in too little insulin release. It will show how understanding KATP channel function has enabled many patients born with neonatal diabetes to switch from insulin therapy to sulphonylurea drugs, with considerable improvement in both their clinical condition and quality of life. Finally, it will discuss why some KATP channel mutations cause neurological disorders.

Refreshments available after the seminar.

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