Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Sulphonylureas are a class of drugs widely used to treat non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. These drugs act by binding to a sulphonylurea receptor (SUR) in the pancreatic beta-cell membrane which inhibits an ATP-sensitive potassium (K-ATP) channel and thereby stimulates insulin secretion. There has been much debate as to whether SUR and the K-ATP channel are the same or separate proteins, whether SUR confers ATP-sensitivity on an ATP-insensitive pore-forming subunit, and whether sulphonylureas can also modulate other types of K-channel. We show here that SUR itself does not possess intrinsic channel activity but that it endows sulphonylurea sensitivity on several types of inwardly-rectifying K-channels. It does not necessarily confer ATP-sensitivity on these channels.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





545 - 548


ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters, Adenosine Triphosphate, Animals, Cell Line, Cloning, Molecular, Cricetinae, Glyburide, Membrane Potentials, Patch-Clamp Techniques, Potassium Channels, Potassium Channels, Inwardly Rectifying, Receptors, Drug, Recombinant Proteins, Sulfonylurea Compounds, Sulfonylurea Receptors, Xenopus