Receptor-mediated endocytosis and subsequent endosomal proteolysis of [125I]TyrA14-[HisA8,HisB4,GluB10,HisB27]insulin ([125I]TyrA14-H2 analogue), an insulin analogue exhibiting a high affinity for the insulin receptor, has been studied in liver parenchymal cells by quantitative subcellular fractionation and compared with that of wild-type [125I]TyrA14-insulin. Whereas the kinetics of uptake of the H2 analogue by liver was not different from that of insulin, the H2 analogue radioactivity after the 2 min peak declined significantly more slowly. A significant retention of the H2 analogue compared with insulin in both plasma membrane and endosomal fractions was observed and corresponded to decreased processing and dissociation of the H2 analogue. Cell-free endosomes preloaded in vivo with radiolabelled ligands and incubated in vitro processed insulin and extraluminally released insulin intermediates at a 2–3-fold higher rate than the H2 analogue. In vitro proteolysis of both non-radiolabelled and monoiodinated molecules by endosomal lysates showed a decreased response to the endosomal proteolytic machinery for the H2 analogue. However, in cross-linking and competition studies the H2 analogue exhibited an affinity for insulin-degrading enzyme identical with that of wild-type insulin. Brij-35-permeabilized endosomes revealed a 2-fold higher rate of dissociation of insulin from internalized receptors compared with the H2 analogue. After the administration of a saturating dose of both ligands, a rapid and reversible ligand-induced translocation of insulin receptor was observed, but without receptor loss. The H2 analogue induced a higher receptor concentration and tyrosine autophosphorylation of the receptor β subunit in endosomes. Moreover, a prolonged temporal interaction of the in vivo injected H2 analogue with receptor was observed by direct binding assays performed on freshly prepared subcellular fractions. These results indicate that endosomal proteolysis for the H2 analogue is slowed as a result of an increased residence time of the analogue on the insulin receptor and a low affinity of endosomal acidic insulinase for the dissociated H2 molecule.

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