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J Biol Chem. 1992 Jul 5;267(19):13131-4.

Insulin receptors are bivalent as demonstrated by photoaffinity labeling.

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Banting and Best Department of Medical Research, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Insulin receptors in human placental membranes were photoaffinity-labeled with a radioactive human insulin-like growth factor I (hIGF-I) photoprobe N epsilon B28-monoazidobenzoyl 125I-hIGF-I either alone or together with a non-radioactive insulin photoprobe N epsilon B29-monoazidobenzoyl insulin. Precipitation of the solubilized receptors with anti-insulin antibody showed that receptors labeled with the radioactive hIGF-I photoprobe were detected in the immunoprecipitate only when photolabeling was carried out in the presence of the non-radioactive insulin photoprobe. Comparable results were obtained in converse experiments using a radioactive insulin photoprobe N epsilon B29-monoazidobenzoyl 125I-insulin, a non-radioactive hIGF-I photoprobe N epsilon B28-monoazidobenzoyl hIGF-I, and an antibody to hIGF-I. The amount of radioactive receptors precipitated by either the anti-insulin antibody or the anti-hIGHF-I antibody was close to the expected amount. These observations demonstrate that the insulin receptor is bivalent being capable of binding two molecules of ligand.

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