The tyrosine kinase activity of insulin receptor isolated from the skeletal muscle of NIDDM patients has previously been found to be decreased compared with the activity of receptor from nondiabetic subjects but the mechanism underlying this defect is unknown. Phosphorylation of receptor serine/threonine residues has been proposed to exert an inhibitory influence on receptor tyrosine kinase activity and Ser 1327 and Thr 1348 have been identified as specific sites of phosphorylation in the insulin receptor COOH terminal domain. To address the potential negative regulatory role of phosphorylation of these residues in vivo, we assessed the extent of phosphorylation of each site in insulin receptor isolated from the skeletal muscle of 12 NIDDM patients and 13 nondiabetic, control subjects. Phosphorylation of Ser 1327 and Thr 1348 was determined using antibodies that specifically recognize insulin receptor phosphorylated at these sites. In addition, a phosphotyrosine-specific antibody was used to monitor receptor tyrosine phosphorylation. The extent of insulin-induced tyrosine autophosphorylation was decreased in receptor isolated from diabetic versus nondiabetic muscle, thus confirming earlier reports. In contrast, there was no significant difference in the extent of phosphorylation of either Ser 1327 or Thr 1348 in receptor isolated from diabetic or nondiabetic muscle as assessed by immunoprecipitation (Ser 1327: 5.6 +/- 1.6% diabetics vs. 4.7 +/- 2.0% control; Thr 1348: 3.8 +/- 1.0% diabetics vs. 3.2 +/- 1.2% control). Moreover, within each group there was no correlation between the level of tyrosine kinase activity and the extent of serine/threonine phosphorylation. It is concluded that the stoichiometry of serine/threonine phosphorylation of insulin receptor in vivo is low, and that increased phosphorylation of Ser 1327 or Thr 1348 is not responsible for the decreased insulin receptor tyrosine kinase activity observed in the skeletal muscle of NIDDM patients.
M Kellerer, M Coghlan, E Capp, A Mühlhöfer, G Kroder, L Mosthaf, P Galante, K Siddle, H U Häring