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J Biol Chem. 1987 May 25;262(15):6939-42.

Isolation of functional alpha beta heterodimers from the purified human placental alpha 2 beta 2 heterotetrameric insulin receptor complex. A structural basis for insulin binding heterogeneity.

Abstract

To investigate the role of subunit communication in the insulin binding and tyrosine-specific protein kinase activities of the purified human placental insulin receptor, we have developed the methodology to isolate a functional alpha beta heterodimeric insulin receptor complex from the native alpha 2 beta 2 heterotetrameric disulfide-linked state. The dissociation of the alpha 2 beta 2 heterotetrameric insulin receptor into an alpha beta heterodimer was found to be approximately 50% efficient by treatment with alkaline pH (8.75) and dithiothreitol (2 mM). Removal of the dithiothreitol and pH neutralization (pH 7.60) by rapid Sephadex G-50 gel filtration resulted in the preservation of tracer insulin binding activity. The nondissociated alpha 2 beta 2 heterotetrameric and alpha beta heterodimeric insulin receptor complexes could then be effectively separated by Bio-Gel A-1.5m gel filtration. Scatchard analyses of insulin binding to the alpha 2 beta 2 heterotetrameric control or dithiothreitol-treated but nondissociated alpha 2 beta 2 heterotetrameric insulin receptor complexes demonstrated a curvilinear binding isotherm with a maximum of 1 mol of insulin bound/mol of alpha 2 beta 2 heterotetrameric complex. However, binding analyses performed on the isolated alpha beta heterodimeric complex yielded a nearly linear binding curve also, with 1 mol of insulin bound/mol of alpha beta heterodimeric complex at saturation. These data demonstrate that the insulin half-site binding reactivity observed in the alpha 2 beta 2 heterotetrameric insulin receptor complex results from either an asymmetric assembly of identical alpha beta heterodimers or from absolute negative cooperativity.

PMID:
3294822
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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