We have demonstrated the formation of hybrid insulin/insulin-like growth factor-I(IGF-I) receptors in transfected rodent fibroblasts, which overexpress human receptors, by examining reactivity with species- and receptor-specific monoclonal antibodies. In NIH 3T3 and Rat 1 fibroblasts, endogenous IGF-I receptors were unreactive with anti-(human insulin receptor)monoclonal antibodies (47-9, 25-49, 83-14, 83-7, 18-44). However, in transfected cells expressing high levels of insulin receptors, 60-80% of high-affinity IGF-I receptors reacted with these antibodies, as assessed either by inhibition of ligand binding in intact cells or by precipitation of solubilized receptors. Conversely, endogenous insulin receptors in NIH 3T3 cells were unreactive with anti-(IGF-I receptor) antibodies alpha IR-3 and 16-13. However, approx. 50% of high-affinity insulin receptors reacted with these antibodies in cells expressing high levels of human IGF-I receptors. The hybrid receptors in transfected cells bound insulin or IGF-I with high affinity. However, responses to these ligands were asymmetrical, in that binding of IGF-I inhibited subsequent binding of insulin, but prior binding of insulin did not affect the affinity for IGF-I. The existence of hybrid receptors in normal tissues could have important implications for metabolic regulation by insulin and IGF-I.

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