Cover Story Current Issue

The year 2021 marks the 100th year of the discovery of insulin, one of the most important discoveries in the history of medical science—in terms of its lasting impact on hundreds of millions of people worldwide and in the development of medical science. This special issue of Molecular Metabolism takes us through the journey over this remarkable century and highlights several aspects of this discovery and its impact – both in diabetes and medical science – in a much broader way.

C. Ronald Kahn

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Current Issue

Understanding insulin and its receptor from their three-dimensional structures

Michael C. Lawrence

Background

Insulin's discovery 100 years ago and its ongoing use since that time to treat diabetes belies the molecular complexity of its structure and that of its receptor. Advances in single-particle cryo-electron microscopy have over the past three years revolutionized our understanding of the atomic detail of insulin-receptor interactions.

Scope of review

This review describes the three-dimensional structure of insulin and its receptor and details on how they interact. This review also highlights the current gaps in our structural understanding of the system.

Major conclusions

A near-complete picture has been obtained of the hormone receptor interactions, providing new insights into the kinetics of the interactions and necessitating a revision of the extant two-site cross-linking model of hormone receptor engagement. How insulin initially engages the receptor and the receptor's traversed trajectory as it undergoes conformational changes associated with activation remain areas for future investigation.

 

Understanding insulin and its receptor from their three-dimensional structures

Michael C. Lawrence

Background

Insulin's discovery 100 years ago and its ongoing use since that time to treat diabetes belies the molecular complexity of its structure and that of its receptor. Advances in single-particle cryo-electron microscopy have over the past three years revolutionized our understanding of the atomic detail of insulin-receptor interactions.

Scope of review

This review describes the three-dimensional structure of insulin and its receptor and details on how they interact. This review also highlights the current gaps in our structural understanding of the system.

Major conclusions

A near-complete picture has been obtained of the hormone receptor interactions, providing new insights into the kinetics of the interactions and necessitating a revision of the extant two-site cross-linking model of hormone receptor engagement. How insulin initially engages the receptor and the receptor's traversed trajectory as it undergoes conformational changes associated with activation remain areas for future investigation.

 

2020 impact factor: 7.4

The 60 Second Metabolist

In this section authors briefly report on their work recently published in Molecular Metabolism.

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