The Journal of Membrane Biology

, Volume 58, Issue 2, pp 155–160 | Cite as

Computer assisted analysis of ferritin-insulin receptor sites on adipocytes and the effects of cytochalasin B on groups of insulin receptor sites

  • Nahum D. Gershon
  • Robert M. Smith
  • Leonard Jarett


A computerized quantitative technique was used to analyze the distribution of ferritininsulin receptor sites on rat adipocytes and the effects of cytochalasin B on groups of receptor sites. Computer analysis of separation distances between receptor sites established that insulin receptor sites on adipocytes did not have a random distribution but have a distinct tendency to exist in groups with a maximum separation distance between particles of 400 Å. A peak in the distribution of separation distances occurred at 100–200 Å. Cytochalasin B, but not cytochalasin D, treatment of adipocytes resulted in a decrease in the number of large groups of receptor sites and a corresponding increase in single and paired receptor sites without affecting the separation distance between the remaining grouped receptors. This suggested that when cytochalasin B disrupted the bond holding receptor sites together, it caused complete disruption. These observations provided additional information on the ultrastructural characteristics of the insulin receptor. Further application of these techniques to the analysis of insulin receptors may provide the necessary structural correlates to the biochemically observed differences in insulin action in other tissues and diseased states.


Insulin Receptor Separation Distance Insulin Action Cytochalasin Receptor Site 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Czech, M.P. 1977. Molecular basis of insulin action.Annu. Rev. Biochem. 46:359Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Gershon, N.D., Demsey, A., Stockpole, C.W. 1979. Analysis of local order in the spatial distribution of cell surface molecular assemblies.Exp. Cell. Res. 122:115Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Jarett, L., Schweitzer, J.B., Smith, R.M. 1980. Differences in the structural organization of insulin receptors on adipocyte and liver plasma membranes.Science (in press) Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Jarett, L., Smith, R.M. 1974. Electron microscopic demonstration of insulin receptors on adipocyte plasma membranes utilizing a ferritin-insulin conjugate.J. Biol. Chem. 249:7024Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Jarett, L., Smith, R.M. 1975. Ultrastructural localization of insulin receptors on rat adipocytes.Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 72:3526Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Jarett, L., Smith, R.M. 1976. Ultrastructural approaches to the study of hormone receptors: The use of ferritin insulin in the localization of biologically relevant insulin receptors.In: Cell Membrane Receptors for Viruses, Antigens and Antibodies, Polypeptide Hormones and Small Molecules. R.F. Beers, Jr., and E.G. Bassett, editors. p. 91. Raven Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Jarett, L., Smith, R.M. 1977. The natural occurrence of insulin receptors in groups on adipocyte plasma membranes as demonstrated with monomeric ferritin insulin.J. Supramol. Struct. 6:45Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Jarett, L., Smith, R.M. 1979. Effect of cytochalasin B and D on groups of insulin receptors and insulin action in rat adipocytes.J. Clin. Invest. 63:571Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Kahn, C.R., Baird, K.L., Jarrett, D.B., Flier, J.S. 1978. Direct demonstration that receptor cross-linking or aggregation is important in insulin action.Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 75:4209Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Nelson, D.M., Smith, R.M., Jarett, L. 1978. Non-uniform distribution and grouping of insulin receptors on the surface of human placental syncytial trophoblast.Diabetes 27:530Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Rodbell, M. 1964. Metabolism of isolated fat cells. I. Effects of hormones on glucose metabolism and lipolysis.J. Biol. Chem. 293:375Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Shechter, Y., Chang, K.-J., Jacobs, S., Cuatrecasas, P. 1979. Modulation of binding and bioactivity of insulin by anti-insulin antibody, relation to possible role of receptor self-aggregation in hormone action.Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 76:2720Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Schweitzer, J.B., Smith, R.M., Jarett, L. 1980. Differences in the organizational structure of the insulin receptor on rat adipocyte and liver plasma membranes: The role of disulfide bonds.Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 77:4692Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nahum D. Gershon
    • 1
    • 2
  • Robert M. Smith
    • 1
    • 2
  • Leonard Jarett
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Computer Research and TechnologyNational Institutes of HealthBethesda
  2. 2.Division of Laboratory Medicine, Departments of Pathology and MedicineWashington University School of MedicineSt. Louis

Personalised recommendations