A method has been developed to solubilize insulin receptors from skeletal muscles. Rat hindlimb muscles were rapidly frozen in liquid nitrogen, powdered, extracted with buffered Triton X-100, and partially purified by differential centrifugation followed by wheat germ agglutinin affinity chromatography. The solubilized receptors exhibit typical curvilinear Scatchard plots in insulin binding assays: rapid, Mn2+-dependent autophosphorylation of the β-subunit on exposure to insulin as well as insulin-stimulated kinase activity toward histone H2B. Furthermore, when intact soleus muscles were incubated in phosphate-depleted medium containing Na2H[32P]PO4, addition of insulin stimulated the in situ phosphorylation of the β-subunit of the insulin receptor. The ability to rapidly and efficiently isolate insulin receptors from skeletal muscle may permit investigation of factors that modulate insulin action in this tissue.

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