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Metabolism. 1996 Dec;45(12):1493-500.

Severe resistance to insulin and insulin-like growth factor-I in cells from a patient with leprechaunism as a result of two mutations in the tyrosine kinase domain of the insulin receptor.

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Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale (INSERM) U402, Faculte de Medecine Saint-Antoine, Paris, France.


We studied the biological properties of insulin receptors (IRs) and insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) receptors in cultured fibroblasts from a patient with leprechaunism (leprechaun Par-1). Patient cells displayed normal insulin binding capacity and affinity. Basal in vivo autophosphorylation and in vitro exogenous kinase activity of patient IRs were elevated twofold to threefold compared with control receptors, and insulin had no further effect on these processes. Moreover, patient IRs were unable to promote the stimulation of metabolic and mitogenic pathways. IR substrate-1 (IRS-1) and mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase tyrosine phosphorylation and glycogen and DNA synthesis were not increased in the basal state in patient fibroblasts and were also insensitive to the stimulatory effect of insulin. As for IGF-I, although binding and receptor kinase activity were normal, the ability to stimulate glycogen and DNA synthesis was altered in patient cells. Two mutant alleles of the IR gene were detected by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and direct sequencing. The maternal allele contained a point mutation in exon 18 encoding the tryptophan-for-arginine substitution at position 1092, and the paternal allele had a point mutation in exon 20 substituting lysine for glutamic acid at codon 1179. Thereby, leprechaun Par-1 was a compound heterozygote for two missense mutations located in the IR beta-subunit. The present investigation provides the first evidence that leprechaunism can be causally related to structural alterations in the tyrosine kinase domain of the IR. These alterations result in severe impairment of insulin and IGF-I action.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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