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Insulin Receptor Complex

Insulin Receptor, Biologic Models, Diabetes,

Insulin Receptor Complex

Insulin is a chemical messenger produced by the pancreas in response to food. Use this 3D printed Biologic Model of the Insulin Receptor Complex as a desktop reminder to take your medication before each meal.

Protein Description 3Wi4

Insulin is a chemical messenger produced by the pancreas in response to food. These types of proteins are called hormones, traveling throughout the body to communicate messages from one cell to another. Insulin notifies the cell to send up glucose transporters because sugar molecules are circulating through the bloodstream. When bound to an insulin receptor, this message sequesters internal stores of glucose transporters up into the plasma membrane. Once in the membrane, glucose transporters begin pumping glucose into the cell gradually lowering glucose in the blood to normal levels. An important protein for sure, you can imagine the dangers of diseases like diabetes when levels of this hormone dramatically change.

3D Molecular Visualization

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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.

3D Animation

Insulin Receptor in Complex with Insulin from Biologic Discovery on Vimeo.

Pubmed Abstract

Insulin receptor signaling has a central role in mammalian biology, regulating cellular metabolism, growth, division, differentiation, and survival. Insulin resistance contributes to the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes mellitus and the onset of Alzheimer’s disease; aberrant signaling occurs in diverse cancers, exacerbated by cross-talk with the homologous type 1 insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF1R). 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.

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

Model Description


This is a 3D print of the Insulin Receptor in complex with Insulin. This model is generated from PDB IDs:  3Wi4 and 2MFR. It is color-coded to denote the dimer configuration on the plasma membrane. The Insulin Receptor printed in full-color sandstone. Receptor dimer chains colored blue and green. Insulin chains A and B colored Orange and Yellow.

3D Print of Insulin Receptor Complex

Model is 3D printed in Full-color sandstone and available in Matte or Glossy UV protectant finish and available in multiple sizes.