SCFA Receptors in Pancreatic β Cells: Novel Diabetes Targets?

Medha Priyadarshini, Barton Wicksteed, Gary E. Schiltz, Annette Gilchrist, Brian T. Layden*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


Nutrient sensing receptors are key metabolic mediators of responses to dietary and endogenously derived nutrients. These receptors are largely G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and many are gaining significant interest as drug targets with a potential therapeutic role in metabolic diseases. A distinct subclass of nutrient sensing GPCRs, two short chain fatty acid (SCFA) receptors (FFA2 and FFA3) are uniquely responsive to gut microbiota derived nutrients (such as acetate, propionate, and butyrate). Pharmacological, molecular, and genetic studies have investigated their role in organismal glucose metabolism and recently in pancreatic β cell biology. Here, we summarize the present knowledge on the role of these receptors as metabolic sensors in β cell function and physiology, revealing new therapeutic opportunities for type 2 diabetes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)653-664
Number of pages12
JournalTrends in Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2016


  • FFA2
  • FFA3
  • gut microbiota
  • insulin secretion
  • short chain fatty acids
  • β cell mass

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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