Peroxide(s) of vanadium: a novel and potent insulin-mimetic agent which activates the insulin receptor kinase

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1987 Aug 31;147(1):259-66. doi: 10.1016/s0006-291x(87)80115-8.


The actions of insulin, vanadate (V) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) on IGF-II binding and insulin receptor tyrosine kinase activity were studied in rat adipocytes. Incubating adipocytes with a combination of V plus H2O2 resulted in a potent synergistic effect on both the increase in IGF-II binding and the activation of the insulin receptor kinase. Catalase, which removes H2O2, abolished this synergism if added at the time of mixing of V plus H2O2 but not if added 10 min. later, suggesting that the formation of peroxide(s) of vanadate generated a potent insulin mimicker. The data support a critical role for the insulin receptor kinase in insulin action. The novel insulin-mimetic compound, a presumed peroxide of vanadate, could prove useful for investigating insulin action and may be valuable for treating insulin resistance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / enzymology
  • Animals
  • Enzyme Activation / drug effects
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor II / metabolism
  • Male
  • Peroxides / pharmacology*
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Receptor, Insulin / metabolism*
  • Vanadium / pharmacology*


  • Peroxides
  • Vanadium
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor II
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Receptor, Insulin