During states of prolonged exposure to high levels of blood glucose, the body responds by producing larger quantities of insulin. It’s believed that the receptor becomes “desensitized” to insulin after long enough exposure to hyperinsulinemia, but is that the whole story?
3D Molecular Visualization
The insulin receptor exists on the plasma membrane as a dimer and is believed to co-localize with other membrane-bound proteins like GLUT transporters. The mysteries surrounding this protein and its association to metabolic diseases is only now becoming fully understood. Join us in examining this beautiful protein. A mysterious protein for sure.
“Despite more than three decades of investigation, the three-dimensional structure of the insulin-insulin receptor complex has proved elusive, confounded by the complexity of producing the receptor protein. Here we present the first view, to our knowledge, of the interaction of insulin with its primary binding site on the insulin receptor, on the basis of four crystal structures of insulin bound to truncated insulin receptor constructs.”
“Contact between insulin and L1 is restricted to insulin B-chain residues. The αCT segment displaces the B-chain C-terminal β-strand away from the hormone core, revealing the mechanism of a long-proposed conformational switch in insulin upon receptor engagement. ” PDB Citation