Do glucagonomas always produce glucagon?

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Nicolai Jacob Wewer Albrechtsen, Benjamin Challis, Ivan Damjanov, Jens Juul Holst

Pancreatic islet α-cell tumours that overexpress proglucagon are typically associated with the glucagonoma syndrome, a rare disease entity characterised by necrolytic migratory erythema, impaired glucose tolerance, thromboembolic complications and psychiatric disturbances. Paraneoplastic phenomena associated with enteric overexpression of proglucagon-derived peptides are less well recognized and include gastrointestinal dysfunction and hyperinsulinaemic hypoglycaemia. The diverse clinical manifestations associated with glucagon-expressing tumours can be explained, in part, by the repertoire of tumorally secreted peptides liberated through differential post-translational processing of tumour-derived proglucagon. Proglucagon-expressing tumours may be divided into two broad biochemical subtypes defined by either secretion of glucagon or GLP-1, GLP-2 and the glucagon-containing peptides, glicentin and oxyntomodulin, due to an islet α-cell or enteroendocrine L-cell pattern of proglucagon processing, respectively. In the current review we provide an updated overview of the clinical presentation of proglucagon-expressing tumours in relation to known physiological actions of proglucagon-derived peptides and suggest that detailed biochemical characterisation of the peptide repertoire secreted from these tumours may provide new opportunities for diagnosis and clinical management.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBosnian Journal of Basic Medical Sciences
Volume16
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
ISSN1512-8601
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016

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