Essay about Insulin Receptor

Essay about Insulin Receptor

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Diabetes is a disease that affects millions of Americans everyday. As the years go on, diabetes is becoming more and more prevalent within America. Ongoing research is being done to gain valuable intellect on the disease and for the development of treatments for the disease. There are a few different causes of diabetes but each involves contact with insulin and insulin receptor on some level, since insulin and insulin receptor are involved in the pathway that regulates glucose levels within the body. The insulin/insulin receptor pathway is vital in maintaining homeostasis within the body. As greater information is gathered on the insulin receptor structure and how it functions a better understanding of treatments for diabetes can possibly be unlocked.

Insulin Receptor Gene
The insulin receptor has several defined exons that encode for various regions of the protein and knowing this information begins to allow for greater insight into the structure of insulin receptor. Origination of insulin receptor begins through proteolytic cleavage of the zymogen of insulin receptor (Seino et al., 1989). The insulin receptor is a homodimeric protein with α2β2 subunits (Huang et al., 2004). Upon analysis of cDNA, it was discovered that eleven exons make up the α subunit and 11 exons make up the β subunit (Seino et al., 1989). These exons lead to the specific characteristics that insulin receptor displays within its structure.

General Structure
There is a plethora of research on insulin receptor structure since it has many vital functions within the body and because of its function or lack of function in such a prevalent disease as diabetes. As mentioned before insulin receptor is a homodimeric protein containing two α and two...


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... M.C. How insulin engages its primary binding site on the insulin receptor. Nature, 493: 241-248 (2013)

Olefsky, J. The insulin receptor: a multifunctional protein. Diabetes, 39: 1009-1016 (1990)

Schaffer, L.; A model for insulin binding to the insulin receptor. European Journal of Biochemistry, 221:1127-1132 (1994)

Seino, S.; Seino, M.; Nishi, S.; Bell, G. Structure of the human insulin receptor gene and characterization of its promoter. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 86: 114-118 (1989)

Smith, B.J.; Huang, K.; Kong, G.; Chan, S.J.; Nakagawa, S.; Menting, J.G.; Hu, S.; Whittaker, J.; Steiner, D.F.; Katsoyannis, P.G. Structural resolution of a tandem hormone-binding element in the insulin receptor and its implications for design of peptide agonists. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(15): 6771-6776 (2010)

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