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Details for messenger / hormone: glucagon

EndoNet ID: ENH00104

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  • glucagon

General information

  • A counterregulatory hormone of insulin, raises plasma glucose levels in response to insulin-induced hypoglycemia.
  • Glucagon is secreted in the A cells of the islets of Langerhans.
  • Plays a prominent role in controling plasma glucose concentrations in the body by diverse signaling mechanisms. [1]
  • Liver is the primary target of glucagon to wich it is expposed when the hormone is released in the portal vein following secretion from the pancreatic alpha cells. [1]
  • Plays a key role in glucose metabolism and homeostasis. Regulates blood glucose by increasing gluconeogenesis and decreasing glycolysis.
  • Glucagon increases glucose output from the liver, an effect that results from inhibition of glycogen synthesis and stimulation of both glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis. [1]


Hormone function

  • metabolism
    • nutrient supply

    Chemical classification

    • hormone
      • genome-encoded
        • glucagon family



      UniProt P01275

      Links to other resources

      UniProt P01275
      Ensembl ENST00000418842
      KEGG hsa:2641
      • Anatomical structure: alpha_cell_of_islet_of_Langerhans

        • Amylin suppresses glucagon secretion from the alpha cells in the postprandial state. [2]
        • The pancreatic alpha-cell is under the tonic inhibitory control of GLP-1 thereby suppressing postprandial glucagon. [3]

        Influenced by:

        • sst2
          in alpha_cell_of_islet_of_Langerhans
          • Subtype-selective SSTR expression in islet cells could be the basis of glucagon inhibition by SSTR2-selective compounds. [4]
        • sst3
          in alpha_cell_of_islet_of_Langerhans
        • sst5
          in alpha_cell_of_islet_of_Langerhans
        • insulin receptor
          in alpha_cell_of_islet_of_Langerhans
        • CCK-2
          in alpha_cell_of_islet_of_Langerhans
          • The CCK-B/G receptor agonists gastrin and cholecystokinin stimulated the release of glucagon in a dose-dependent manner. [5]
        • GLP-1R
          in alpha_cell_of_islet_of_Langerhans
          • This is supported by the observation that GLP-1 also inhibits glucagon release from a glucagon-secreting cell line [6]


      adipose tissue Present
      • positive regulation of lipid catabolic process
      heart Present
      • stimulation of inotropic and chronotropic activity
      hepatocyte Present
      • glycogenolysis
      • gluconeogenesis
      • maintainence of serum glucose concentration
      kidney Present
      • regulation of ion transport and electrolyte excretion
      pancreas Present
      • Glucagonoma
      skeleton muscle Present
      • maintaining glucose homeostasis
      small intestine Present
      stomach Present
      • ghrelin
      thyroid gland Present