Structural changes in intermediate filament networks alter the activity of insulin-degrading enzyme

FASEB J. 2009 Nov;23(11):3734-42. doi: 10.1096/fj.09-137455. Epub 2009 Jul 7.


The intermediate filament (IF) protein nestin coassembles with vimentin and promotes the disassembly of these copolymers when vimentin is hyperphosphorylated during mitosis. The aim of this study is to determine the function of these nonfilamentous particles by identifying their interacting partners. In this study, we report that these disassembled vimentin/nestin complexes interact with insulin degrading enzyme (IDE). Both vimentin and nestin interact with IDE in vitro, but vimentin binds IDE with a higher affinity than nestin. Although the interaction between vimentin and IDE is enhanced by vimentin phosphorylation at Ser-55, the interaction between nestin and IDE is phosphorylation independent. Further analyses show that phosphorylated vimentin plays the dominant role in targeting IDE to the vimentin/nestin particles in vivo, while the requirement for nestin is related to its ability to promote vimentin IF disassembly. The binding of IDE to either nestin or phosphorylated vimentin regulates IDE activity differently, depending on the substrate. The insulin degradation activity of IDE is suppressed approximately 50% by either nestin or phosphorylated vimentin, while the cleavage of bradykinin-mimetic peptide by IDE is increased 2- to 3-fold. Taken together, our data demonstrate that the nestin-mediated disassembly of vimentin IFs generates a structure capable of sequestering and modulating the activity of IDE.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • CHO Cells
  • Cell Line
  • Cricetinae
  • Cricetulus
  • Insulysin / metabolism*
  • Intermediate Filament Proteins / metabolism*
  • Intermediate Filaments / metabolism
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism*
  • Nestin
  • Phosphorylation
  • Rats
  • Vimentin / metabolism*


  • Intermediate Filament Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Nes protein, rat
  • Nestin
  • Vimentin
  • Insulysin