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Novartis Found Symp. 2004;262:36-50; disucssion 50-5, 265-8.

Molecular basis of insulin action.

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Department of Molecular Cell Biology, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, 76100, Israel.


Insulin signalling at target tissues results in a large array of biological responses. These events are essential for normal growth and development, and for normal homeostasis of glucose, fat and protein metabolism. Elucidating the intracellular events following activation of the insulin receptor and the interactions between the insulin and IGF-1 signalling systems has been the main focus of a large number of investigators, and for excellent reasons. Improved understanding of the signalling pathways involved in insulin action and the impact of IGF-1 on these processes could lead to a better understanding of the pathophysiology of insulin resistance associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes and the identification of key molecules that could lead to newer and more effective therapeutic agents for treating these common disorders that are already an uprising epidemic of the 21st century. This chapter will summarize our current understanding of the molecular basis of insulin action, beginning with outlining key elements that constitute the insulin signalling pathways. Then, impairments in insulin signalling pathways and new paradigms regarding the molecular basis of insulin and IGF-1 resistance will be analysed.

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