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Mecasermin in Insulin Receptor-Related Severe Insulin Resistance Syndromes: Case Report and Review of the Literature

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      Mutations in the insulin receptor (INSR) gene underlie rare severe INSR-related insulin resistance syndromes (SIR), including insulin resistance type A, Rabson–Mendenhall syndrome and Donohue syndrome (DS), with DS representing the most severe form of insulin resistance. Treatment of these cases is challenging, with the majority of DS patients dying within the first two years of life. rhIGF-I (mecasermin) has been reported to improve metabolic control and increase lifespan in DS patients. A case report and literature review were completed. We present a case involving a male patient with DS, harbouring a homozygous mutation in the INSR gene (c.591delC). Initial rhIGF-I application via BID (twice daily) injection was unsatisfactory, but continuous subcutaneous rhIGF-I infusion via an insulin pump improved weight development and diabetes control (HbA1c decreased from 10 to 7.6%). However, our patient died at 22 months of age during the course of a respiratory infection in in Libya. Currently available data in the literature comprising more than 30 treated patients worldwide seem to support a trial of rhIGF-I in SIR. rhIGF-I represents a treatment option for challenging SIR cases, but careful consideration of the therapeutic benefits and the burden of the disease is warranted. Continuous application via pump might be advantageous compared to single injections.

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      Insulin-like growth factor I receptor primary structure: comparison with insulin receptor suggests structural determinants that define functional specificity.

      To identify structural characteristics of the closely related cell surface receptors for insulin and IGF-I that define their distinct physiological roles, we determined the complete primary structure of the human IGF-I receptor from cloned cDNA. The deduced sequence predicts a 1367 amino acid receptor precursor, including a 30-residue signal peptide, which is removed during translocation of the nascent polypeptide chain. The 1337 residue, unmodified proreceptor polypeptide has a predicted Mr of 151,869, which compares with the 180,000 Mr IGF-I receptor precursor. In analogy with the 152,784 Mr insulin receptor precursor, cleavage of the Arg-Lys-Arg-Arg sequence at position 707 of the IGF-I receptor precursor will generate alpha (80,423 Mr) and beta (70,866 Mr) subunits, which compare with approximately 135,000 Mr (alpha) and 90,000 Mr (beta) fully glycosylated subunits.
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          Mechanisms of disease: metabolic effects of growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor 1.

          Insulin-like growth factor (IGF) 1 is a member of a family that is involved in growth, development, cell differentiation, and metabolism. IGF1, IGF2 and insulin act primarily through tyrosine-kinase-linked receptors--the IGF1 receptor (IGF1R) and insulin receptor (IR). The IGF1R binds IGF1 and IGF2 with high affinity and the IR binds insulin with high affinity; however, since both receptors share a high degree of structural and functional homology, the IGF1R can bind insulin and the IR can bind the IGFs with reduced affinity. These two receptors can, moreover, form heterodimers, which bind both ligands. Upon binding to the receptors, cascades of tyrosine and serine kinases are stimulated to facilitate growth or metabolism. The IGF2 receptor is a scavenger receptor, and is, therefore, not involved in mediation of growth or metabolic effects of the IGF family and will not be discussed in the current article. IGF1 is a major gene target of growth hormone and its product mediates many of the actions of growth hormone on growth and development; however, IGF1 has actions distinct from those of growth hormone in carbohydrate, lipid, and protein metabolism. For example, excess growth hormone causes insulin resistance and hyperglycemia, whereas IGF1 has insulin-like effects that reduce blood glucose levels and has been used experimentally to treat both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

            Author and article information

            Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetology Division, Children’s Hospital, University of Bonn, Adenauerallee 119, 53113 Bonn, Germany; Michaela.Plamper@ (M.P.); Bettina.Gohlke@ (B.G.); Felix.Schreiner@ (F.S.)
            Author notes
            [* ]Correspondence: Joachim.Woelfle@ ; Tel.: +49-228-2873-3223; Fax: +49-228-2873-3472
            Int J Mol Sci
            Int J Mol Sci
            International Journal of Molecular Sciences
            24 April 2018
            May 2018
            : 19
            : 5
            29695048 5983765 10.3390/ijms19051268 ijms-19-01268
            © 2018 by the authors.

            Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (



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