New search
download case
  • Overview
  • Teaching Notes
  • Answer Key
  • Comments/Replies

Diabetes and Insulin Signaling



Author:

Kristy J. Wilson
School of Mathematics and Sciences
Marian University
kjwilson@marian.edu

Abstract:

Cellular signaling, otherwise known as signal transduction, is the mechanism by which cellular context and environmental situation are used to regulate or adjust cellular behavior. Multicellular organisms use cellular signaling to coordinate responses to the environment, facilitate development, and maintain homeostasis. The mechanisms by which a cell receives a message and translates it into short-term or long-term effects are as varied as the responses stimulated by cellular signaling. There are, however, some generalized steps that can be applied to many different signaling situations. This case study uses insulin signaling and the pathological case of diabetes as a lens through which students will learn general signaling mechanisms like kinase cascades and second messenger pathways. The case is designed in the interrupted format and has three parts that could be used either as homework or as an in-class activity. It is written for use in a cell biology class for sophomore or junior undergraduates but could also be utilized in biochemistry, physiology, or genetics courses.

Objectives:
  • Divide a signaling pathway into generalized parts: signal, receptor, signaling effectors (i.e., signaling cascades or second messengers) and short-term/long-term effects.
  • Explain the role of phosphorylation in protein/enzyme activity and how it contributes to signal transduction.
  • Apply signal transduction mechanisms to diabetes's physiological symptoms.
  • Hypothesize a mechanism to explain how signaling in diabetes might be specific for different tissue types.
  • Design a line of inquiry or an experiment that could identify a cause of insulin resistance in type-2 diabetes.
Keywords: Cellular signaling; signal transduction; insulin; insulin signaling; insulin resistance; diabetes; receptor; kinase; transcription factor; second messenger
Topical Area: N/A
Educational Level: Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division, Graduate
Formats: PDF
Type/Method: Discussion, Interrupted
Language: English
Subject Headings: Cell Biology   Molecular Biology   Biology (General)   Biochemistry   Physiology   Genetics / Heredity   Medicine (General)  
Date Posted: 10/30/2013
Date Modified: N/A
Copyright: Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.

Teaching Notes


Case teaching notes are password-protected and access to them is limited to paid subscribed instructors. To become a paid subscriber, begin the process by registering here.

Teaching notes are intended to help teachers select and adopt a case. They typically include a summary of the case, teaching objectives, information about the intended audience, details about how the case may be taught, and a list of references and resources.

  Download Teaching Notes

Answer Key


Answer keys for the cases in our collection are password-protected and access to them is limited to paid subscribed instructors. To become a paid subscriber, begin the process by registering here.


  Get Answer Key



Name:
Email:
Department:
Institution:
City State:
Comments:
security code
Enter Security Code: