Insulin Receptor Signalling

Insulin sends signals to cells via two receptors

Insulin has many functions in the body and affects the activity of most cells. To initiate specific molecular processes in a cell, insulin binds to one of its two receptors, IR-A and IR-B, embedded in cell membrane.

Signaling via IR-A and IR-B leads to distinct molecular events

In the pancreatic beta-cell for example, binding of insulin to IR-A initiates a chain of molecular events resulting in insulin production. On the other hand, binding of insulin to IR-B increases the production of glucokinase, the glucose sensor of the beta-cell.

Different tissues have different amounts of IR-A and IR-B

Almost every cell in the body has both IR-A and IR-B embedded in its plasma membrane. Typical insulin targets tissues like fat, muscle and liver cells have predominantly IR-B. Cancer cells, on the other hand, have mostly IR-A.

Project leaders

Senior researcher

Ingo Leibiger

Phone: +46-(0)8-517 757 25
Organizational unit: Signal Transduction

Senior researcher

Barbara Leibiger

Phone: +46-(0)8-517 757 27
Organizational unit: Signal Transduction

People working on Insulin Signalling

Senior lab manager

Tilo Moede

Phone: +46-(0)8-517 757 25
Organizational unit: Signal Transduction

PhD student

Meike Paschen

Organizational unit: Signal Transduction

Read more about insulin receptor isoforms

1. Insulin-feedback via PI3K-C2alpha activated PKBalpha/Akt1 is required for glucose-stimulated insulin secretion.
Leibiger B, Moede T, Uhles S, Barker C, Creveaux M, Domin J, et al
FASEB J. 2010 Jun;24(6):1824-37

2. Novel aspects on pancreatic beta-cell signal-transduction.
Leibiger I, Brismar K, Berggren P
Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 2010 May;396(1):111-5

3. Insulin signaling in the pancreatic beta-cell.
Leibiger I, Leibiger B, Berggren P
Annu. Rev. Nutr. 2008 ;28():233-51

4. Selective gene activation by spatial segregation of insulin receptor B signaling.
Uhles S, Moede T, Leibiger B, Berggren P, Leibiger I
FASEB J. 2007 May;21(7):1609-21

5. Isoform-specific insulin receptor signaling involves different plasma membrane domains.
Uhles S, Moede T, Leibiger B, Berggren P, Leibiger I
J. Cell Biol. 2003 Dec;163(6):1327-37

6. Insulin feedback action on pancreatic beta-cell function.
Leibiger I, Leibiger B, Berggren P
FEBS Lett. 2002 Dec;532(1-2):1-6

7. Selective insulin signaling through A and B insulin receptors regulates transcription of insulin and glucokinase genes in pancreatic beta cells.
Leibiger B, Leibiger I, Moede T, Kemper S, Kulkarni R, Kahn C, et al
Mol. Cell 2001 Mar;7(3):559-70

8. Glucose-stimulated insulin biosynthesis depends on insulin-stimulated insulin gene transcription.
Leibiger B, Wahlander K, Berggren P, Leibiger I
J. Biol. Chem. 2000 Sep;275(39):30153-6

9. Exocytosis of insulin promotes insulin gene transcription via the insulin receptor/PI-3 kinase/p70 s6 kinase and CaM kinase pathways.
Leibiger I, Leibiger B, Moede T, Berggren P
Mol. Cell 1998 May;1(6):933-8