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Transcriptional Regulation of INSR, the Insulin Receptor Gene

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Michigan State University, 603 Wilson Rd. 413 Biochemistry, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
Cell and Molecular Biology Program, Michigan State University, 603 Wilson Rd. 413 Biochemistry, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Genes 2019, 10(12), 984;
Received: 28 October 2019 / Revised: 19 November 2019 / Accepted: 23 November 2019 / Published: 29 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue DNA Variations in Evolution and Human Diseases)
The insulin receptor gene encodes an evolutionarily conserved signaling protein with a wide spectrum of functions in metazoan development. The insulin signaling pathway plays key roles in processes such as metabolic regulation, growth control, and neuronal function. Misregulation of the pathway features in diabetes, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases, making it an important target for clinical interventions. While much attention has been focused on differential pathway activation through ligand availability, sensitization of overall signaling may also be mediated by differential expression of the insulin receptor itself. Although first characterized as a “housekeeping” gene with stable expression, comparative studies have shown that expression levels of the human INSR mRNA differ by tissue and in response to environmental signals. Our recent analysis of the transcriptional controls affecting expression of the Drosophila insulin receptor gene indicates that a remarkable amount of DNA is dedicated to encoding sophisticated feedback and feed forward signals. The human INSR gene is likely to contain a similar level of transcriptional complexity; here, we summarize over three decades of molecular biology and genetic research that points to a still incompletely understood regulatory control system. Further elucidation of transcriptional controls of INSR will provide the basis for understanding human genetic variation that underlies population-level physiological differences and disease. View Full-Text
Keywords: insulin receptor; IR; INSR; transcriptional regulation insulin receptor; IR; INSR; transcriptional regulation
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Payankaulam, S.; Raicu, A.-M.; Arnosti, D.N. Transcriptional Regulation of INSR, the Insulin Receptor Gene. Genes 2019, 10, 984.

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