Melbourne BioViz

Part 2: Insulin Receptor and Type 2 Diabetes

This animation describes the role of the insulin receptor in type 2 diabetes. It focuses on the very recent discovery of how the hormone insulin actually binds to the receptor on the surface of cells, as determined by Prof Mike Lawrence’s lab at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne, Australia.

Insulin binds to the receptor protein on the cell surface and instructs the cell to take up glucose from the blood for use as an energy source. In type 2 diabetes, we believe that insulin binds to the receptor normally, but the signal is not sent into the cell, the cells do not take up glucose and the resulting high blood glucose levels cause organ damage over time.
Understanding how insulin interacts with it’s receptor is fundamental to the development of novel insulin for the treatment of diabetes.

Maja Divjak 2015

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