Defect in phosphorylation of insulin receptors in cells from an insulin-resistant patient with normal insulin binding

Science  02 Mar 1984:
Vol. 223, Issue 4639, pp. 932-934
DOI: 10.1126/science.6141638


Mononuclear blood cells were obtained from a patient with type A insulin resistance. The cells showed a normal ability to bind iodine 125-labeled insulin. Analysis of solubilized insulin receptors from the patient's cells revealed a defect in insulin-stimulated tyrosine kinase activity, which is closely associated with the receptor itself. The enzyme failed to phosphorylate the insulin receptor and showed a markedly reduced ability to phosphorylate exogenously added substrates. It appears that receptors from this insulin-resistant patient have a defect distal to the insulin-binding site (the alpha subunit of the receptor). The defect could be located in the beta subunit, which has an adenosine triphosphate-binding site, or in another receptor component that transfers a signal of insulin binding into kinase activity. This dissociation between the normal binding and the defective protein kinase component of the insulin receptor represents the first biochemical defect of the receptor distal to ligand binding.