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      Speculations on the Mechanism of Action of Insulin

      Hormone Research in Paediatrics

      S. Karger AG

      Insulin, Mitochondria, pH, Citrate, Conformation, Respiration, RNA, Nucleus

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          Insulin affects many processes in muscle and it is difficultto envisage ways in which all these effects can result from a single primary action. Nonetheless it is of interest to speculate how the different actions of the hormone could be linked to each other. The possibility that insulin might induce a conformational change in responsive tissues is considered and how such need not include nuclear events. An alter native suggestion would be for insulin to induce a small rise in intra cellular pH. Such would favour many pH-sensitive reactions and is indicated by studies of the distribution in muscle of DMO and CO<sub>2</sub>/bicarbonate. These results direct attention towards functions of the mitochondria, and a possible explanation of why respiration is not affected by insulin despite changing anabolic load is considered. Mitochondria are very active in translocating ions. Possible ways in which movements of ions in response to pH could affect metabolism are put forward.

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          Author and article information

          Horm Res Paediatr
          Hormone Research in Paediatrics
          S. Karger AG
          21 November 2008
          : 1
          : 6
          : 342-351
          Department of Biochemistry, University College London
          178194 Hormones 1970;1:342–351
          © 1970 S. Karger AG, Basel

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          Page count
          Pages: 10


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