J Syst Evol ›› 2013, Vol. 51 ›› Issue (6): 664-670.DOI: 10.1111/jse.12048

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Insulin receptor-like ectodomain genes and splice variants are found in both arthropods and human brain cDNA

1Åke J. VÄSTERMARK┼,* 1Mathias RASK‐ANDERSEN 1Rahul S. SAWANT 2Jill L. REITER 1Helgi B. SCHIÖTH 1Michael J. WILLIAMS   

  1. 1(Department of Neuroscience, Uppsala University, 751 24 Uppsala, Sweden)
    2(Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA)
  • Received:2013-02-04 Published:2013-11-08

Abstract: Truncated receptor ectodomains have been described for several classes of cell surface receptors, including those that bind to growth factors, cytokines, immunoglobulins, and adhesion molecules. Soluble receptor isoforms are typically generated by proteolytic cleavage of the cell surface receptor or by alternative splicing of RNA transcripts arising from the same gene encoding the full-length receptor. Both the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and the insulin receptor (INSR) families produce soluble receptor splice variants in vertebrates and truncated forms of insulin receptor-like sequences have previously been described inDrosophila. The EGFR and INSR ectodomains share significant sequence homology with each other suggestive of a common evolutionary origin. We discovered novel truncated insulin receptor-like variants in several arthropod species. We carried out a phylogenetic analysis of the conserved extracellular receptor L1 and L2 subdomains in invertebrate species. Although the segregation of insulin receptor-like L1 and L2 domains indicated that an internal domain duplication had occurred only once, the generation of truncated insulin receptor-like sequences has occurred multiple times. The significance of this work is the previously unknown and widespread occurrence of truncated isoforms in arthropods, signifying that these isoforms play an important functional role, potentially related to such isoforms in mammals.

Key words: Drosophila, ectodomain, INSR, INSRR, receptor L domain, Tribolium castaneum.