Walter and Eliza Institute researchers have discovered a structure part of the insulin receptor which, up to now, remains a mystery in the medical industry.

This has enhanced the understanding of how insulin interacts with an insulin receptor which is an essential information if we are to understand how it binds and how it can be manipulated for therapeutics purposes.

By understanding how insulin combines and passes on messages into the cell that has better potential is vital to develop compounds similar to insulin and can treat diabetes., Dr. Mike Lawrence said in a statement from the WEHI's Structural Biology Division.

The WEHI team is also studying the structure of related type 1 insulin-like growth receptor, to which insulin-like growth factors combine.

The research conducted was funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council, the National Institutes of Health (US), the Victorian Government and the University of Chicago Diabetes Research and Training Center.