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Insulin-related peptides and their conserved signal transduction pathway.

Claeys I., Simonet G., Poels J., Van Loy T., Vercammen L., De Loof A., Vanden Broeck J.

The 'insulin superfamily' is an ancient category of small, structurally related proteins, such as insulin, insulin-like growth factors (IGF) and relaxin. Insulin-like signaling molecules have also been described in different invertebrates, including nematodes, mollusks, and insects. They initiate an evolutionary conserved signal transduction mechanism by binding to a heterotetrameric, membrane-spanning receptor tyrosine kinase. Recent physiological and genetic studies have revealed that, in different metazoans, the insulin signaling pathway plays a pivotal role in the regulation of a variety of interrelated, fundamental processes, such as metabolism, growth, reproduction and aging.

Peptides 23:807-816(2002) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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