Insulin (from the Latin, insula meaning island) is a peptide hormone produced by beta cells in the pancreas, and by Brockmann body in some teleost fish. It regulates the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats by promoting the absorption of glucose from the blood to skeletal muscles and fat tissue and by causing fat to be stored rather than used for energy. Insulin also inhibits the production of glucose by the liver. The preproinsulin precursor of insulin is encoded by the INS gene.
Except in the presence of the metabolic disorder diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome, insulin is provided within the body in a constant proportion to remove excess glucose from the blood, which otherwise would be toxic. As a central metabolic control mechanism, insulin’s status is also used as a control signal to other body systems (such as amino acid uptake by body cells). In addition, it has several other anabolic effects throughout the body. When control of insulin levels fails, diabetes mellitus can result.
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