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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Transmembrane signaling by an insulin receptor lacking a cytoplasmic beta-subunit domain.

To assess the function of the cytoplasmic domain of the insulin receptor ( IR) beta subunit, we have studied a mutant IR truncated by 365 aa ( HIR delta 978), thereby deleting > 90% of the cytoplasmic domain. HIR delta 978 receptors were processed normally to homodimers that were expressed at the cell surface where they bind insulin with normal affinity. Although these truncated IRs were inactive with respect to ligand-induced internalization and autophosphorylation, insulin stimulated endogenous substrate (pp185) phosphorylation significantly more in HIR delta 978 cells than in untransfected Rat1 cells. Importantly, despite absence of the beta-subunit cytoplasmic domain, fibroblasts expressing HIR delta 978 receptors displayed enhanced sensitivity to insulin for stimulation of glucose incorporation into glycogen, alpha-aminoisobutyric acid uptake, thymidine incorporation, and S6 kinase activity compared with parental fibroblasts. Insulin also induced the expression of the protooncogene c-fos and the early growth response gene Egr-1 in HIR delta 978 cells far greater than in parental Rat1 fibroblasts. Furthermore, an agonistic monoclonal antibody specific for the human IR stimulated insulin action in fibroblasts expressing wild-type human IR but had no effect on HIR delta 978 cells. In conclusion, the HIR delta 978 truncated IRs appear to confer enhanced insulin sensitivity by augmenting the signaling properties of the endogenous rodent IRs.[1]


  1. Transmembrane signaling by an insulin receptor lacking a cytoplasmic beta-subunit domain. Sasaoka, T., Takata, Y., Kusari, J., Anderson, C.M., Langlois, W.J., Olefsky, J.M. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1993) [Pubmed]
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