IOCB Prague

Jiří Jiráček Group

Chemistry and Biology of Insulin and Insulin-like Growth Factors
Research Group
BIO cluster

About our group

Our research group is interested in all aspects of insulin and insulin-like growth factors 1 and 2 (IGF-1/2) physiology. These important hormones share similar 3D structures and cell membrane receptors; two isoforms of an insulin receptor (IR-A and IR-B) and receptors for IGF-1 (IGF-1R) and IGF-2 (IGF-2R). Insulin and IGFs cross-bind to these receptors with different affinities and trigger distinct but overlapping physiological effects; predominantly metabolic for insulin and predominantly mitogenic for IGFs. Hence, the hormones and their receptors form a complex system, which plays a major role in the regulation of metabolism, growth, development and lifespan. In addition, it has a role in the development of cancer, diabetes, growth-related and neurological diseases. Our general goal is understanding of the structural basis for the different cellular responses, metabolic and mitogenic, generated by insulin and IGFs. We synthesize analogs and mimetics of insulin and IGFs to study their interactions with cognate receptors and to develop new drugs for treatment of hormone-related disorders. We are also involved in the study of structural forms of insulin in pancreatic secretory granules.