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J Bone Miner Res. 1989 Dec;4(6):853-62.

The characterization, regulation, and function of insulin receptors on osteoblast-like clonal osteosarcoma cell line.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Hong Kong.


The properties and regulation of insulin receptors on monolayers of cultured clonal osteoblastic rat osteosarcoma UMR-106 cells and human osteosarcoma U20S cells were studied. Confluent cultures of UMR-106 cells bound lactoperoxidase-labeled, HPLC-purified [125I]A-14-monoiodinated insulin in a reversible, saturable, and specific manner. Binding was related inversely to the incubation temperature. Prolonged period of steady-state binding was achieved at all temperatures studied. Competition curves demonstrated half-maximal inhibition of [125I]insulin binding at an unlabeled insulin concentration of about 1 nM. Scatchard analysis of the binding data was curvilinear, suggesting negative cooperativity, and revealed that UMR-106 osteoblasts contained about 87,000 receptor sites per cell according to a two-site model. Bound [125I]insulin dissociated from osteoblasts with a t1/2 of about 15 minutes at 22 degrees C. The dissociation curve was multiexponential, and the addition of native insulin accelerated the dissociation of intact but not degraded [125I]insulin. Preincubation with 125 nM insulin for 1 h induced 70% loss of binding sites and reduced total insulin bound by 30%. When monolayers were treated with the lysosomotropic agent chloroquine, a 40% increase in cell-associated radioactivity that could not be dissociable in fresh buffer was observed. The use of an energy depleter, sodium fluoride, completely inhibited the effects of chloroquine. Similar results were obtained for human osteosarcoma U20S cells except that the number of receptor sites was far less than that of UMR-106 cells. Insulin increased collagen synthesis at a half-maximal concentration of 1 nM. To conclude, cultured rat and human osteoblasts possess insulin receptors that exhibit kinetic properties and specificity similar to those of other insulin target cells. Receptor-bound insulin is internalized and degraded by a chloroquine-sensitive, energy-requiring reaction. Insulin receptor on bone cells modulates the synthesis of collagen and this role may be important in bone homeostasis.

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