Insulin Insight

The Insulin peptide family

The Insulin peptide family

Author: Pierre De Meyts, MD, PHD, F.A.C.E.

Insulin is only one member of a family of peptide hormones and growth factors that comprizes 10 members in humans: insulin, insulin-like growth factors I and II (IGF-I and II) and seven peptides related to relaxin.

They result from successive duplications of an ancestral gene that appeared early in animal evolution. Invertebrates also have many insulin-like peptides, e.g. 37 in the worm C. elegans and seven in the fruit fly Drosophila Melanogaster.

They play an important role in metabolism, growth, reproduction and longevity.

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