RIN-m cells, cultured from a rat insulinoma, not only bind and secrete but also degrade insulin (Diabetes 1982; 31:521–31). The insulin-degrading activity resides in the cytosol and is similar to the insulin-specific proteases previously described in muscle and other tissues. It has an apparent Km of 0.15 μM for porcine insulin in crude cell-free extracts, a competitive inhibition constant for proinsulin that is close to the Km, and a lower but measurable affinity for glucagon. The enzyme is inactive at pHs below 6.0, indicating that it is not lysosomal, is completely inhibited by Nethylmaleimide, and exhibits apparent competitive inhibition constants (μM) for the following peptides: desoctapeptide insulin, 0.043; guinea pig insulin, 0.048; proinsulin, 0.64; insulin B-chain, 1.17; glucagon, 7.0; and cyclic somatostatin, 8.6. Highly active insulin-degrading activity was found using cell suspensions of 22 cloned and 8 subcloned cell lines derived from RINm as well as 11 other continuous cell lines derived from a variety of nonislet tissues of rat, mouse, and human origin. Homogenates of the original rat islet tumor and cytosol of normal rat islets also contained insulin-degrading activity. Although insulin protease is present in a variety of tissues, it may have an additional regulatory function in cells that are actively synthesizing, storing, and secreting insulin.

This content is only available via PDF.