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Celebrating 100 years of insulin research

2021 marks 100 years since the discovery of insulin, a peptide hormone produced in the pancreas and responsible for promoting the absorption of glucose from the circulating blood into the liver and other tissues. Insulin has been shown to be a key signalling regulator. Decreased or absent insulin activity is the cause of diabetes – type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease leading to the destruction of the cells which produce insulin, while type 2 diabetes is generally related to a rise in insulin resistance or a loss of insulin sensitivity. Such is its importance to human health, insulin was the first protein to be fully sequences by Frederick Sanger in 1951, and the first protein to be produced by DNA recombinant technology in 1978 and research has so far yielded two Nobel Prizes.

If you're new to metabolism (or you need a refresh) check out our Understanding Biochemistry article on Metabolism, we've included it here as a primer for you. This collection includes some of the research, reviews and commentaries published in the field of diabetes, metabolic disease and insulin signalling across the Portland Press portfolio. Basic mechanisms are described in the Biochemical Journal and Bioscience Reports, while Clinical Science explores the translational and disease-related mechanisms and our reviews journals summarise the latest findings for you in easy to digest mini-reviews.

If you enjoy this, you might also want to check out the April issue of our magazine, The Biochemist, the features are themed in celebration of the anniversary and the magazine is available completely free online.

We hope that you find this collection interesting, and consider submitting your next paper to us.

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