Structure of the insulin receptor ectodomain reveals a folded-over conformation.

CSIRO Molecular & Health Technologies, 343 Royal Parade, Parkville, Victoria 3052, Australia.
Nature (Impact Factor: 38.6). 10/2006; 443(7108):218-21. DOI: 10.1038/nature05106
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The insulin receptor is a phylogenetically ancient tyrosine kinase receptor found in organisms as primitive as cnidarians and insects. In higher organisms it is essential for glucose homeostasis, whereas the closely related insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF-1R) is involved in normal growth and development. The insulin receptor is expressed in two isoforms, IR-A and IR-B; the former also functions as a high-affinity receptor for IGF-II and is implicated, along with IGF-1R, in malignant transformation. Here we present the crystal structure at 3.8 A resolution of the IR-A ectodomain dimer, complexed with four Fabs from the monoclonal antibodies 83-7 and 83-14 (ref. 4), grown in the presence of a fragment of an insulin mimetic peptide. The structure reveals the domain arrangement in the disulphide-linked ectodomain dimer, showing that the insulin receptor adopts a folded-over conformation that places the ligand-binding regions in juxtaposition. This arrangement is very different from previous models. It shows that the two L1 domains are on opposite sides of the dimer, too far apart to allow insulin to bind both L1 domains simultaneously as previously proposed. Instead, the structure implicates the carboxy-terminal surface of the first fibronectin type III domain as the second binding site involved in high-affinity binding.

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    ABSTRACT: The insulin receptor (IR) binds insulin and plays important roles in glucose homeostasis by regulating the tyrosine kinase activity at its C-terminus. Its transmembrane domain (TMD) is shown to be important for transferring conformational changes induced by insulin across the cell membrane to regulate kinase activity. In this study, a construct IR940-988 containing the TMD was expressed and purified for structural studies. Its solution structure in dodecylphosphocholine (DPC) micelles was determined. The sequence containing residues L962 to Y975 of the TMD of the IR in micelles adopts a well-defined helical structure with a kink formed by glycine and proline residues present at its N-terminus, which might be important for its function. Paramagnetic relaxation enhancement (PRE) and relaxation experimental results suggest that residues following the TMD are flexible and expose to aqueous solution. Although purified IR940-988 in micelles existed mainly as a monomeric form verified by gel filtration and relaxation analysis, cross-linking study suggests that it may form a dimer or oligomers under micelle conditions.
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    ABSTRACT: Donohue syndrome (DS) is a rare and lethal autosomal recessive disease caused by mutations in the insulin receptor (INSR) gene, manifesting marked insulin resistance, severe growth retardation, hypertrichosis, and characteristic dysmorphic features. We report the clinical, molecular, and biochemical characterization of three new patients with DS, and address genotype-phenotype issues playing a role in the pathophysiology of DS. A female infant born to first-degree cousins Muslim Arab parents and two brothers born to first-degree cousins Druze parents presented classical features of DS with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and died in infancy. Each patient was found homozygous for one missense mutation within the extracellular domain of the INSR gene. Western blot analysis identified the proreceptor of INSR, but not its mature subunits alpha and beta. Of 95 healthy Muslims, no heterozygous was found and of 52 healthy Druze from the same village, one was heterozygous. This study presents two novel familial mutations in the alpha subunit of the INSR which appear to impair post-translational processing of the INSR, resulting loss of its function. Both mutations cause DS with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and early death. Identification of the causative mutation enables prevention of this devastating disease.
    Molecular genetics & genomic medicine. 01/2014; 2(1):64-72.
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