This is an interactive molecular model kit used to explain the mechanism of insulin action. 3D printed pieces assemble to demonstrate insulin (yellow/orange) binding to its receptor (dark green)and subsequent translocation of glucose transporters (green) up to the plasma membrane (cyan) to begin lowering blood sugar (blue). Biologic model created from PDB IDs: 3Wi4
. 3D printed in full-color sandstone and color-coded to denote the dimer configuration on the plasma membrane.
Insulin is a small 51 residue hormone synthesized and secreted by ß cells in the pancreas. Insulin is central to lowering blood glucose and maintaining metabolic function. Following meals, the pancreas sends out insulin into the blood stream to signal the body that glucose is ready for uptake by glucose transporters after binding to the insulin receptor.