All-atom structural models for complexes of insulin-like growth factors IGF1 and IGF2 with their cognate receptor.
ABSTRACT Type 1 insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF1R) is a membrane-spanning glycoprotein of the insulin receptor family that has been implicated in a variety of cancers. The key questions related to molecular mechanisms governing ligand recognition by IGF1R remain unanswered, partly due to the lack of testable structural models of apo or ligand-bound receptor complexes. Using a homology model of the IGF1R ectodomain IGF1RDeltabeta, we present the first experimentally consistent all-atom structural models of IGF1/IGF1RDeltabeta and IGF2/IGF1RDeltabeta complexes. Our explicit-solvent molecular dynamics (MD) simulation of apo-IGF1RDeltabeta shows that it displays asymmetric flexibility mechanisms that result in one of two binding pockets accessible to growth factors IGF1 and IGF2, as demonstrated via an MD-assisted Monte Carlo docking procedure. Our MD-generated ensemble of structures of apo and IGF1-bound IGF1RDeltabeta agrees reasonably well with published small-angle X-ray scattering data. We observe simultaneous contacts of each growth factor with sites 1 and 2 of IGF1R, suggesting cross-linking of receptor subunits. Our models provide direct evidence in favor of suggested electrostatic complementarity between the C-domain (IGF1) and the cysteine-rich domain (IGF1R). Our IGF1/IGF1RDeltabeta model provides structural bases for the observation that a single IGF1 molecule binds to IGF1RDeltabeta at low concentrations in small-angle X-ray scattering studies. We also suggest new possible structural bases for differences in the affinities of insulin, IGF1, and IGF2 for their noncognate receptors.
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ABSTRACT: Brain metastasis is a common cause of mortality in cancer patients, yet potential therapeutic targets remain largely unknown. The type I insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF-IR) is known to play a role in the progression of breast cancer and is currently being investigated in the clinical setting for various types of cancer. The present study demonstrates that IGF-IR is constitutively autophosphorylated in brain-seeking breast cancer sublines. Knockdown of IGF-IR results in a decrease of phospho-AKT and phospho-p70s6k, as well as decreased migration and invasion of MDA-MB-231Br brain-seeking cells. In addition, transient ablation of IGFBP3, which is overexpressed in brain-seeking cells, blocks IGF-IR activation. Using an in vivo experimental brain metastasis model, we show that IGF-IR knockdown brain-seeking cells have reduced potential to establish brain metastases. Finally, we demonstrate that the malignancy of brain-seeking cells is attenuated by pharmacological inhibition with picropodophyllin, an IGF-IR-specific tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Together, our data suggest that the IGF-IR is an important mediator of brain metastasis and its ablation delays the onset of brain metastases in our model system.PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(9):e73406. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Insulin regulates blood glucose levels in higher organisms by binding to and activating insulin receptor (IR), a constitutively homodimeric glycoprotein of the receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) superfamily. Therapeutic efforts in treating diabetes have been significantly impeded by the absence of structural information on the activated form of the insulin/IR complex. Mutagenesis and photo-crosslinking experiments and structural information on insulin and apo-IR strongly suggest that the dualchain insulin molecule, unlike the related single-chain insulin-like growth factors, binds to IR in a very different conformation than what is displayed in storage forms of the hormone. In particular, hydrophobic residues buried in the core of the folded insulin molecule engage the receptor. There is also the possibility of plasticity in the receptor structure based on these data, which may in part be due to rearrangement of the so-called CT-peptide, a tandem binding element of the IR. These possibilities provide opportunity for large-scale molecular modeling to contribute to our understanding of this system. Using various atomistic simulation approaches, we have constructed all-atom structural models of hormone/receptor complexes in the presence of CT in its crystallographic position and a thermodynamically favorable displaced position. In the "displaced-CT" complex, many more insulin-receptorcontacts suggested by experiments are satisfied, and our simulations also suggest that R-insulin potentially represents the receptor-bound form of hormone. The results presented in this work have further implications for the design of receptorspecific agonists/antagonists. Proteins 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.Proteins Structure Function and Bioinformatics 01/2013; · 3.34 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Insulin signaling plays a critical role in coupling external changes to animal physiology and behavior. Despite remarkable conservation in the insulin signaling pathway components across species, divergence in the mechanism and function of the signal is evident. Focusing on recent findings from C. elegans, D. melanogaster and mammals, we discuss the role of insulin signaling in regulating adult neuronal function and behavior. In particular, we describe the transcription-dependent and transcription-independent aspects of insulin signaling across these three species. Interestingly, we find evidence of diverse mechanisms underlying complex networks of peptide action in modulating nervous system function.Invertebrate Neuroscience 01/2014; · 1.19 Impact Factor