Sulfonylureas are bound to a part of the b-cell cytoplasmic membrane potassium channel, called the sulfonylurea receptor (SUR, see Figure 27.1). This binding causes inhibition of the exit of potassium ions from the b-cell and a change of the cell's resting potential. This results in the opening of special calcium channels of the cytoplasmic
membrane, the entry of calcium ions inside the cell and the stimulation of insulin secretion. This is the way in which the response of the b-cell to glucose and other insulin-secreting stimuli (amino-acids, etc.) is ultimately performed. It is obvious that sulfonylureas act only when the capacity of the b-cell to produce insulin is intact.
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Diabetes is a disease that affects the way your body uses food. Normally, your body converts sugars, starches and other foods into a form of sugar called glucose. Your body uses glucose for fuel. The cells receive the glucose through the bloodstream. They then use insulin a hormone made by the pancreas to absorb the glucose, convert it into energy, and either use it or store it for later use. Learn more...