Activation and regulation of the insulin receptor kinase

Diabete Metab. 1992;18(1 Pt 2):98-103.


For the insulin receptor and the EGF receptor it is believed that ligand occupancy results in interactions within the heterotetrameric alpha 2 beta 2 insulin receptor or between monomeric EGF receptors. These interactions then activate the intracellular receptor tyrosine kinase which induces receptor autophosphorylation and phosphorylation of cellular substrates. In the present study we have approached the nature of this receptor activation and autophosphorylation. We have investigated whether these phenomena occur via an intra--or an intermolecular process. To this end the following receptor model system consisting of two receptors was co-expressed in NIH 3T3 cells: a kinase inactive human insulin receptor (HIR K1018A) and a chimeric (EIR) receptor corresponding to the extracellular and transmembrane domains of the human EGF receptor and the cytosolic domain of the human insulin receptor beta subunit. Using this system we found that stimulation of the cells with EGF induced tyrosine autophosphorylation of the EGF-insulin receptor chimera (150 kd) and tyrosine phosphorylation of the beta-subunit of the kinase-deficient insulin receptor (95 kd). The phosphopeptides of the autophosphorylated cytoplasmic domain of the EGF-insulin receptor chimera were comparable to those of the transphosphorylated beta subunit of the kinase-deficient insulin receptor and the wild type human insulin receptor. When immunoaffinity purified EGF-insulin receptor hybrids and kinase-deficient insulin receptors were used in a cell lysate phosphorylation assay, it was found that addition of EGF produced [32P]-labeling of both receptor species. In conclusion, we have shown that tyrosine transphosphorylation can occur between homologous receptor domains. This transphosphorylation and transactivation could be a possible mechanism for signal amplification.2+ domain could influence interactions between the receptor and cellular structures and, as such, play a key role in signal transduction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Enzyme Activation
  • ErbB Receptors / metabolism
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / metabolism*
  • Receptor, Insulin / metabolism


  • Insulin
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Receptor, Insulin