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Trends Cardiovasc Med. 2006 Aug;16(6):183-8.

Insulin resistance and cardiovascular risk: New insights from molecular and cellular biology.

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Dipartimento di Medicina Clinica Scienze Cardiovascolari ed Immunologiche, Université FEDERICO II Napoli, 80131 Napoli, Italy.


Insulin resistance has been described in several diseases that increase cardiovascular risk and mortality, such as diabetes, obesity, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, and heart failure. Abnormalities of insulin signaling account for insulin resistance. Insulin mediates its action on target organs through phosphorylation of a transmembrane-spanning tyrosine kinase receptor, the insulin receptor (IR). Several mechanisms have been described as responsible for the inhibition of insulin-stimulated tyrosine phosphorylation of IR and the IR substrate (IRS) proteins, including proteasome-mediated degradation, phosphatase-mediated dephosphorylation, and kinase-mediated serine/threonine phosphorylation. In particular, phosphorylation of IRS-1 on serine Ser612 causes dissociation of the p85 subunit of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, inhibiting further signaling. On the other hand, phosphorylation of IRS-1 on Ser307 results in its dissociation from the IR and triggers proteasome-dependent degradation. Dysregulation of sympathetic nervous and renin-angiotensin systems resulting in enhanced stimulation of both adrenergic and angiotensin II receptors is a typical feature of several cardiovascular diseases and, at the same time, is involved in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance. The characterization of molecular mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance may help to design efficacious pharmacologic molecules to treat endothelial and metabolic dysfunction associated with insulin resistance states to reduce the cardiovascular risk and to ameliorate the prognosis of patients with cardiovascular diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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