Scapin G, Dandey VP, Zhang Z, Prosise W, Hruza A, Kelly T, Mayhood T, Strickland C, Potter CS, Carragher B. Structure of the insulin receptor-insulin complex by single-particle cryo-EM analysis. Nature. 2018;556(7699):122-5. PMCID: PMC5886813. PubMed
Insulin is a peptide hormone with important roles in metabolism. Recent crystal structures of insulin bound to a truncated form of the insulin receptor have provided insights into the binding mode of this complex. Giovanna Scapin and colleagues now describe the three-dimensional structure of the ectodomain of the insulin receptor in complex with an insulin dimer, solved to a resolution of 4.6 Å using single-particle cryo-electron microscopy. The findings advance our structural and mechanistic knowledge about the formation of the insulin–receptor complex and receptor activation.