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Biochemistry. 1989 Oct 31;28(22):8864-71.

Pervanadate [peroxide(s) of vanadate] mimics insulin action in rat adipocytes via activation of the insulin receptor tyrosine kinase.

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Protein and Polypeptide Hormone Laboratory, Royal Victoria Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


Both vanadate and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) are known to have insulin-mimetic effects. We previously reported that the mixture of vanadate plus H2O2 results in the generation of a peroxide(s) of vanadate, which strongly enhances IGF-II binding to rat adipocytes (Kadota et al., 1987b). We now report that pervanadate mimics insulin in isolated rat adipocytes to (1) stimulate lipogenesis, (2) inhibit epinephrine-stimulated lipolysis, and (3) stimulate protein synthesis. The efficacy of pervanadate is comparable to that of insulin. However, it is 10(2)-10(3) times more potent than vanadate alone. Exposure of intact rat adipocytes to pervanadate was found to activate the WGA-purified insulin receptor tyrosine kinase assayed with the exogenous substrate poly(Glu80/Tyr20) in a dose-dependent manner to a maximum of 1464% of control at 10(-3) M compared with a maximum insulin effect of 1046% at 10(-6) M. In contrast, in vitro assayed autophosphorylation of the WGA-purified extract was increased 3-fold after exposure of intact cells to insulin but not significantly increased after pervanadate. Furthermore, high concentrations of pervanadate (10(-5) M) inhibited subsequent in vitro added insulin-stimulated autophosphorylation. In vitro addition of pervanadate to WGA-purified receptors could not stimulate autophosphorylation or exogenous tyrosine kinase activity and did not inhibit insulin-stimulated autophosphorylation. Labeling of intact adipocytes with [32P]orthophosphate followed by exposure to 10(-4) M pervanadate increased insulin receptor beta-subunit phosphorylation (7.9 +/- 3.0)-fold, while 10(-7) M insulin and 10(-4) vanadate increased labeling (5.3 +/- 1.8)- and (1.1 +/- 0.2)-fold, respectively.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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