Insulin pp 169-181 | Cite as

Insulin Receptor Structure

  • R. A. Roth
Part of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology book series (HEP, volume 92)


The insulin receptor serves to not only concentrate insulin on the appropriate target cells, but also to initiate the responses of these cells to the hormone. Consequently, a great deal of research has been focused on this molecule. Early efforts were directed at quantitating the interaction of radioactively labeled insulin with its receptor (for reviews of these studies see GAMMELTOFT 1984; ROTH and GRUNFELD 1981 ; KAHN 1976). From these studies it was possible to
  1. 1

    Estimate the number of insulin receptors on different cells under various physiological conditions;

  2. 2

    Show that the interaction of insulin with its receptor results in a subsequent decrease in the number of cell surface receptors (the phenomenon called “downregulation”);

  3. 3

    Show that the interaction of insulin with its receptors is not a simple one since Scatchard plots of binding data were curvilinear, a phenomenon which has been interpreted to mean that insulin was interacting with two populations of receptors or that there was one class of receptors which exhibits negative cooperativity;

  4. 4

    Show that the rank order of potency of different insulin analogs varies in their binding to insulin receptors in different tissues, suggesting that the insulin receptor might differ in these tissues.



Insulin Receptor Insulin Binding Human Insulin Receptor Receptor Kinase Domain Insulin Receptor Complex 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Blackshear PJ, Nemenoff RA, Avruch J (1983) Insulin binds to and promotes the phosphorylation of a Mr 210000 component of its receptor in detergent extracts of rat liver microsomes. FEBS Lett 158:243–246PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bodsch W, Wedekind F, Sommer M-T, Brandenburg D (1988) On the insulin binding domain of the human insulin receptor. In: International symposium on insulin and the cell membrane, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Czechoslovakia, 27–30 June 1988Google Scholar
  3. Böni-Schnetzler M, Scott W, Waugh SM, DiBella E, Pilch PF (1987) The insulin receptor: structural basis for high affinity ligand binding. J Biol Chem 262:8395–8401PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Böni-Schnetzler M, Kaligian A, DelVecchio R, Pilch PF (1988) Ligand-dependent inter-subunit association within the insulin receptor complex activates its intrinsic kinase activity. J Biol Chem 263:6822–6828PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Burant CF, Treutelaar MK, Allen KD, Sens DA, Buse MG (1987) Comparison of insulin and insulin-like growth factor I receptors from rat skeletal muscle and L-6 myocytes. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 147:100–107PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Caro JF, Raju SM, Sinha MK, Goldfme ID, Dohm GL (1988) Heterogeneity of human liver, muscle, and adipose tissue insulin receptor. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 15:123–129CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chou CK, Dull TJ, Russell DS, Gherzi R, Lebwohl D, Ullrich A, Rosen OM (1987) Human insulin receptors mutated at the ATP-binding site lack protein tyrosine kinase activity and fail to mediate postreceptor effects of insulin. J Biol Chem 262:1842–1847PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Czech MP, Massague J (1982) Subunit structure and dynamics of the insulin receptor. Fed Proc 41:2719–2723PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Deger A, Krämer H, Rapp R, Koch R, Weber U (1986) The nonclassical insulin binding of insulin receptors from rat liver is due to the presence of two interacting a-subunits in the receptor complex. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 135:458–464PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Donner DB, Yonkers K (1983) Hormone-induced conformational changes in the hepatic insulin receptor. J Biol Chem 258:9413–9418PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Ebina Y, Ellis L, Jarnagin K, Edery M, Graf L, Clauser E, Ou J-h, Masiarz F, Kan YW, Goldfme ID, Roth RA, Rutter WJ (1985) The human insulin receptor cDNA: the structural basis for hormone-activated transmembrane signalling. Cell 40:747–758PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Ebina Y, Araki E, Taira M, Shimada F, Mori M, Craik CS, Siddle K, Pierce SB, Roth RA, Rutter WJ (1987) Replacement of lysine residue 1030 in the putative ATP-binding region of the insulin receptor abolishes insulin-and antibody-stimulated glucose uptake and receptor Okinase activity. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 84:704–708PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Ellis L, Clauser E, Morgan DO, Edery M, Roth RA, Rutter WJ (1986a) Replacement of insulin receptor tyrosine residues 1162 and 1163 compromises insulin-stimulated kinase activity and uptake of 2-deoxy glucose. Cell 45:721–732PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ellis L, Morgan DO, Clauser E, Edery M, Jong S-M, Wang L-H, Roth RA, Rutter WJ (1986b) Mechanisms of receptor-mediated transmembrane communication. In: Cold Spring Harbor Symp Quant Biol 51:773PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Ellis L, Morgan DO, Clauser E, Roth RA, Rutter WJ (1987a) A membrane-anchored cytoplasmic domain of the human insulin receptor mediates a constitutively elevated insulin-independent uptake of 2-deoxy glucose. Mol Endocrinol 1:15–24PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Ellis L, Morgan DO, Jong S-M, Wang L-H, Roth RA, Rutter WJ (1987b) Heterologous transmembrane signaling by a human insulin receptor-v-roshybrid in Chinese hamster ovary cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 84:5101–5105PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Ellis L, Levitan A, Cobb MH, Ramos P (1988a) Efficient expression in insect cells of a soluble, active human insulin receptor protein-tyrosine kinase domain by use of a baculovirus vector. J Virol 62:1634–1639PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Ellis L, Sissom J, Levitan A (1988b) Truncation of the ectodomain of the human insulin receptor results in secretion of a soluble insulin binding protein from transfected CHO cells. J Mol Recognition 1:25–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Fernandez-Almonacid R, Rosen OM (1987) Structure and ligand specificity of the Drosophila melanogasterinsulin receptor. Mol Cell Biol 7:2718–2727PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Gammeltoft S (1984) Insulin receptors: binding kinetics and structure-function relationship of insulin. Physiol Rev 64:1321–1378PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Goldstein BJ, Müller-Wieland D, Kahn CR (1987) Variation in insulin receptor messenger ribonucleic acid expression in human and rodent tissues. Mol Endocrinol 1:759–766PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Grunfeld C, Shigenaga JK, Ramachandran J (1985) Urea treatment allows dithiothreitol to release the binding subunit of the insulin receptor from the cell membrane: implications for the structural organization of the insulin receptor. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 133:389–396PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gu J-L, Goldfme ID, Forsayeth JR, De Meyts P (1988) Reversal of insulin-induced negative cooperativity by monoclonal antibodies that stabilize the slowly dissociating state of the insulin receptor. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 150:694–701PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hedo JA, Simpson IA (1984) Internalization of insulin receptors in the isolated rat adipose cell. J Biol Chem 259:11083–11089PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Hedo JA, Kahn CR, Hayashi M, Yamada KM, Kasuga M (1983) Biosynthesis and glycosylation of the insulin receptor. J Biol Chem 258:10020–10026PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Heidenreich KA, Zahniser NR, Berhanu P, Brandenburg D, Olefsky JM (1983) Structural differences between insulin receptors in the brain and peripheral target tissues. J Biol Chem 258:8527–8530PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Hendricks SA, Agardh C-D, Taylor SI, Roth J (1984) Unique features of the insulin receptor in rat brain. J Neurochem 43:1302–1309PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Herrera R, Rosen OM (1986) Autophosphorylation of the insulin receptor in vitro. J Biol Chem 261:11980–11985PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Herrera R, Lebwohl D, de Herreros AG, Kallen RG, Rosen OM (1988) Synthesis, purification, and characterization of the cytoplasmic domain of the human insulin receptor using a baculovirus expression system. J Biol Chem 263:5560–5568PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Herzberg VL, Grigorescu F, Edge ASB, Spiro RG, Kahn CR (1985) Characterization of insulin receptor carbohydrate by comparison of chemical and enzymatic deglycosyla-tion. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 129:789–796PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Jacobs S, Cuatrecasas P (1980) Disulfide reduction converts the insulin receptor of human placenta to a low affinity form. J Clin Invest 66:1424–1427PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Jacobs S, Cuatrecasas P (1981) Insulin receptor: structure and function. Endocr Rev 2:251–263PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Jacobs S, Hazum E, Schechter Y, Cuatrecasas P (1979) Insulin receptor: covalent labeling and identification of subunits. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 76:4918–4921PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Jacobs S, Kuli FC Jr, Cuatrecasas P (1983) Monensin blocks the maturation of receptors for insulin and somatomedin C: identification of receptor precursors. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 80:1228–1231PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Johnson JD, Wong ML, Rutter WJ (1989) Properties of the insulin receptor ectodomain. Proc Natl Acad Sci (USA) 85:7516–7520CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Jonas HA, Newman JD, Harrison LC (1986) An atypical insulin receptor with high affinity for insulin-like growth factors copurified with placental insulin receptors. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 83:4124–4128PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Kadowaki T, Koyasu S, Nishida E, Tobe K, Izumi T, Takaku F, Sakai H, Yahara I, Kasuga M (1987) Tyrosine phosphorylation of common and specific sets of cellular proteins rapidly induced by insulin, insulin-like growth factor I, and epidermal growth factor in an intact cell. J Biol Chem 262:7342–7350PubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Kadowaki T, Bevins CL, Cama A, Ojamaa K, Marcus-Samuels B, Kadowaki H, Beitz L, McKeon C, Taylor SI (1988) Two mutant alleles of the insulin receptor gene in a patient with extreme insulin resistance. Science 240:787–790PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Kahn CR (1976) Membrane receptors for hormones and neurotransmitters. J Cell Biol 70:261–286PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Kahn CR, Maron R (1984) Immunology of the insulin receptor. In: Andreani D, Di Mario U, Federlin KF, Heding LG (eds) Immunology in diabetes. Kimpton Medical, London, p 209Google Scholar
  41. Kasuga M, Karlsson FA, Kahn CR (1982a) Insulin stimulates the phosphorylation of the 95000-dalton subunit of its own receptor. Science 215:185–186PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Kasuga M, Zick Y, Blithe DL, Crettaz M, Kahn CR (1982b) Insulin stimulates tyrosine phosphorylation of the insulin receptor in a cell-free system. Nature 298:667–669PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Lewis RE, Tepper MA, Czech MP (1986) Characterization of a genomic clone encoding the rat insulin receptor cytoplasmic domain. In: Program and abstracts, 68th annual Meeting of the Endocrine Society, Anaheim, California, 25-27 June 1986Google Scholar
  44. Maegawa H, McClain DA, Freidenberg G, Olefsky JM, Napier M, Lipari T, Dull TJ, Lee J, Ullrich A (1988) Properties of a human insulin receptor with a COOH-terminal truncation. J Biol Chem 263:8912–8917PubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. Matsushime H, Wang L-H, Shibuya M (1986) Human c-ros-1 gene homologous to the v-rossequence of UR2 sarcoma virus encodes for a transmembrane receptor-like molecule. Mol Cell Biol 6:3000–3004PubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. McClain DA, Maegawa H, Lee J, Dull TJ, Ulrich A, Olefsky JM (1987) A mutant insulin receptor with defective tyrosine kinase displays no biologic activity and does not undergo endocytosis. J Biol Chem 262:14663–14671PubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. McElduff A, Grunberger G, Gorden P (1985) An alteration in apparent molecular weight of the insulin receptor from the human monocyte cell line U-937. Diabetes 34:686–690PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Morgan DO, Roth RA (1986) Mapping surface structures of the human insulin receptor with monoclonal antibodies: localization of main immunogenic regions to the receptor kinase domain. Biochem 25:1364–1371CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Nishida Y, Hata M, Nishizuka Y, Rutter WJ, Ebina Y (1986) Cloning of a DrosophilacDNA encoding a polypeptide similar to the human insulin receptor precursor. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 141: 474–481PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Olson TS, Bamberger MJ, Lane MD (1986) Post-translational changes in tertiary and quaternary structure of the insulin proreceptor. J Biol Chem 263:7342–7351Google Scholar
  51. Petruzzelli L, Herrera R, Arenas-Garcia R, Fernandez R, Birnbaum MJ, Rosen OM (1986) Isolation of a Drosophilagenomic sequence homologous to the kinase domain of the human insulin receptor and detection of the phosphorylated Drosophilareceptor with an anti-peptide antibody. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 83:4710–4714PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Pilch PF, Czech MP (1979) Interaction of cross-linking agents with the insulin effector system of isolated fat cells. J Biol Chem 254:3375–3380PubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. Pilch PF, Czech MP (1980) Hormone binding alters the conformation of the insulin receptor. Science 210:1152–1153PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Pottick LA, Moxley RT III, Livingston JN (1981) Tissue differences in insulin receptors: acute changes in insulin binding characteristics induced by wheat germ agglutinin. Diabetes 30:196–202PubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. Rees-Jones RW, Hedo JA, Zick Y, Roth J (1983) Insulin-stimulated phosphorylation of the insulin receptor precursor. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 116:417–422PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Rosen OM (1987) After insulin binds. Science 237:1452–1457PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Roth RA, Cassell DJ (1983) Insulin receptor: evidence that it is a protein kinase. Science 219:299–301PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Roth J, Grunfeld C (1981) Endocrine systems: mechanisms of disease, target cells, and receptors. In: Williams RH (ed) Textbook of endocrinology. Saunders, Philadelphia, p 15, chap 2Google Scholar
  59. Roth RA, Mesirow ML, Cassell DJ (1983) Preferential degradation of the ß subunit of purified insulin receptor. J Biol Chem 258:14456–14460PubMedGoogle Scholar
  60. Roth RA, Morgan DO, Beaudoin J, Sara V (1986) Purification and characterization of the human brain insulin receptor. J Biol Chem 261:3753–3757PubMedGoogle Scholar
  61. Schweitzer JB, Smith RM, Jarett L (1980) Differences in organizational structure of insulin receptor on rat adipocyte and liver plasma membranes: role of disulfide bonds. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 77:4692–4696PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Shia MA, Pilch PF (1983) The ß subunit of the insulin receptor is an insulin-activated protein kinase. Biochem 22:717–721CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Shia MA, Rubin JB, Pilch PF (1983) The insulin receptor protein kinase. J Biol Chem 258:14450–14455PubMedGoogle Scholar
  64. Shoelson SE, White MF, Kahn CR (1988) Tryptic activation of the insulin receptor. J Biol Chem 263:4852–4860PubMedGoogle Scholar
  65. Steele-Perkins G, Turner J, Edman JC, Hari J, Pierce SB, Stover C, Rutter WJ, Roth RA (1988) Expression and characterization of a functional human insulin-like growth factor I receptor. J Biol Chem 263:11486–11492PubMedGoogle Scholar
  66. Stuart CA (1988) Characterization of a novel insulin receptor from stingray liver. J Biol Chem 263:7881–7886PubMedGoogle Scholar
  67. Sweet LJ, Morrison BD, Pessin JE (1987) Isolation of functional αß heterodimers from the purified human placental α2ß2 heterotetrameric insulin receptor complex. J Biol Chem 262:6939–6942PubMedGoogle Scholar
  68. Tornqvist HE, Gunsalus JR, Nemenoff RA, Frackelton AR, Pierce MW, Avruch J (1988) Identification of the insulin receptor tyrosine residues undergoing insulin-stimulated phosphorylation in intact rat hepatoma cells. J Biol Chem 263:350–359PubMedGoogle Scholar
  69. Ullrich A, Bell JR, Chen EY, Herrera R, Petruzzelli LM, Dull TJ, Gray A, Coussens L, Liao Y-C, Tsubokawa M, Mason A, Seeburg PH, Grundfeld C, Rosen OM, Ramachandran J (1985) Human insulin receptor and its relationship to the tyrosine kinase family of oncogenes. Nature 313:756–761PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Ullrich A, Gray A, Tarn AW, Yang-Feng T, Tsubokawa M, Collins C, Henzel W, Le Bon T, Kathuria S, Chen E, Jacobs S, Francke U, Ramachandran J, Fujita-Yamaguchi Y (1986) Insulin-like growth factor I receptor primary structure: comparison with insulin receptor suggests structural determinants that define functional specificity. EMBO J 5:2503–2512PubMedGoogle Scholar
  71. van Obberghen EB, Rossi A, Kowalski A, Gazzano H (1983) Receptor-mediated phosphorylation of the hepatic insulin receptor; evidence that the M r 95000 receptor subunit is its own kinase. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 80:945–949PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Whitaker J, Okamoto A (1988) Secretion of soluble functional insulin receptors by trans-fected NIH3T3 cells. J Biol Chem 263:3063–3066Google Scholar
  73. White MF, Shoelson SE, Keutmann H, Kahn CR (1988) A cascade of tyrosine autophosphorylation in the ß-subunit activates the phosphotransferase of the insulin receptor. J Biol Chem 263:2969–2980PubMedGoogle Scholar
  74. Yarden Y, Ullrich A (1988) Growth factor receptor tyrosine kinases. Ann Rev Biochem 57:443–78PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Yip CC, Moule ML, Yeung CWT (1980) Characterization of insulin receptor subunits in brain and other tissues by photoaffinity labeling. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 96:1671–1678PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Yoshimasa Y, Seino S, Whittaker J, Kakehi T, Kosaki A, Kuzuya H, Imura H, Bell GI, Steiner DF (1988) Insulin-resistant diabetes due to a point mutation that prevents insulin proreceptor processing. Science 240:784–787PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. A. Roth

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations