Sucralose activates an ERK1/2–ribosomal protein S6 signaling axis

Marcy L. Guerra, Michael A. Kalwat, Kathleen McGlynn, Melanie H. Cobb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The sweetener sucralose can signal through its GPCR receptor to induce insulin secretion from pancreatic β cells, but the downstream signaling pathways involved are not well-understood. Here we measure responses to sucralose, glucagon-like peptide 1, and amino acids in MIN6 β cells. Our data suggest a signaling axis, whereby sucralose induces calcium and cAMP, activation of ERK1/2, and site-specific phosphorylation of ribosomal protein S6. Interestingly, sucralose acted independently of mTORC1 or ribosomal S6 kinase (RSK). These results suggest that sweeteners like sucralose can influence β-cell responses to secretagogues like glucose through metabolic as well as GPCR-mediated pathways. Future investigation of novel sweet taste receptor signaling pathways in β cells will have implications for diabetes and other emergent fields involving these receptors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)174-186
Number of pages13
JournalFEBS Open Bio
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017


  • insulin secretion
  • pancreatic islet beta cells
  • sucralose
  • sweet taste receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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