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

Profile image

Ingo Leibiger

Senior Research Specialist

Barbara Leibiger

Senior Research Specialist

Group members working on Insulin Signaling

Read more about insulin receptor isoforms

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

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

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

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

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

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

Selective insulin signaling through A and B insulin receptors regulates transcription of insulin and glucokinase genes in pancreatic beta cells.
Leibiger B, Leibiger IB, Moede T, Kemper S, Kulkarni RN, Kahn CR, de Vargas LM, Berggren PO
Mol Cell 2001 Mar;7(3):559-70

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

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