The effects of insulin and type 1 insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) on metabolism, growth and survival are mediated by their association with specific receptor tyrosine kinases, which results in both receptor and substrate phosphorylation. Phosphotyrosine residues on receptors and substrates provide docking sites for signaling proteins containing SH2 (Src homology 2) domains, including molecular adaptors. This review focuses on the regulation of insulin/IGF-1 signaling and action by two adaptor families with a similar domain organization: the growth factor receptor-bound proteins Grb7/10/14 and the SH2B proteins. Both Grb10/14 and SH2B1/B2 associate with the activation loop of insulin/IGF-1 receptors through their SH2 domains, but association of Grb10/14 also involves their unique BPS domain. Consistent with Grb14 binding as a pseudosubstrate to the kinase active site, insulin/IGF-induced activation of receptors and downstream signaling pathways in cultured cells is inhibited by Grb10/14 adaptors, but is potentiated by SH2B1/B2 adaptors. Accordingly, Grb10 and Grb14 knockout mice show improved insulin/IGF sensitivity in vivo, and, for Grb10, overgrowth and increased skeketal muscle and pancreatic β-cell mass. Conversely, SH2B1-depleted mice display insulin and IGF-1 resistance, with peripheral depletion leading to reduced adiposity and neuronal depletion leading to obesity through associated leptin resistance. Grb10/14 and SH2B1 adaptors also modulate insulin/IGF-1 action by interacting with signaling components downstream of receptors and exert several tissue-specific effects. The identification of Grb10/14 and SH2B1 as physiological regulators of insulin signaling and action, together with observations that variants at their gene loci are associated with obesity and/or insulin resistance, highlight them as potential therapeutic targets for these conditions.
© 2012 The Authors Journal compilation © 2012 FEBS.