Identification of a disulfide bridge connecting the alpha-subunits of the extracellular domain of the insulin receptor.
The alpha 2 beta 2 structure of the insulin receptor has previously been shown to involve one disulfide bridge between the alpha-subunits in the region containing Cys435, Cys468 and Cys524. We have digested the soluble extracellular domain of the insulin receptor with succinylated trypsin, partially separated the resulting peptides, and sequenced a number of fractions. The peptides containing Cys435 and Cys468 appeared in the same fraction, indicating that these two form a disulfide bond, and in another fraction we found the sequence of the peptide containing Cys524. Since it has been shown that the extracellular domain of the insulin receptor has no free thiols and since no other sequences containing cysteine were found in these fractions, we conclude that Cys524 forms a disulfide bond to the Cys524 in the other alpha-subunit.