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The insulin/IGF system regulates cell metabolism, proliferation, and differentiation in vertebrates. It consists of three peptide hormones: insulin, IGF-1, and IGF-2, as well as their membrane receptors, including two isoforms of insulin receptor (IR-A and IR-B) and IGF-1 receptor (IGF1R), all belonging to the receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) family. While insulin and IGF-1 have the highest affinity for their cognate receptors, significant structural homology between the hormones and the receptors allows all hormones to bind and stimulate all receptors, albeit with different potencies. IGF-2 does not have a cognate receptor, but it can bind and activate IR-A and IGF1R with relatively high affinity.

 

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