ALFRED PASIEKA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ALFRED PASIEKA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Insulin. Computer artwork of a molecule of the hormone insulin, essential in maintaining the balance of glucose metabolism in the body. Insulin is a small protein made up of two chains of amino acids (blue spheres) linked to each other by bridges of two sulphur atoms (disulphide bridges, orange). It is secreted by the pancreas gland of all vertebrates, including humans, although the exact sequence of amino acids differs from species to species. Insulin is secreted in response to high blood glucose levels (such as after a meal). It promotes the uptake of blood glucose by body cells. Lack of insulin leads to the disease diabetes mellitus.
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