Replacement of the interchain disulfide bridge-forming amino acids A7 and B7 by glutamate impairs the structure and activity of insulin.
ABSTRACT Insulin contains three disulfide bonds, one intrachain bond, A6-A11, and two interchain bonds, A7-B7 and A20-B19. Site-directed mutagenesis results (the two cysteine residues of disulfide A7-B7 were replaced by serine) showed that disulfide A7-B7 is crucial to both the structure and activity of insulin. However, chemical modification results showed that the insulin analogs still retained relatively high biological activity when A7Cys and B7Cys were modified by chemical groups with a negative charge. Did the negative charge of the modification groups restore the loss of activity and/or the disturbance of structure of these insulin analogs caused by deletion of disulfide A7-B7? To answer this question, an insulin analog with both A7Cys and B7Cys replaced by Glu, which has a long side-chain and a negative charge, was prepared by protein engineering, and its structure and activity were analyzed. Both the structure and activity of the present analog are very similar to that of the mutant with disulfide A7-B7 replaced by Ser, but significantly different from that of wild-type insulin. The present results suggest that removal of disulfide A7-B7 will result in serious loss of biological activity and the native conformation of insulin, even if the disulfide is replaced by residues with a negative charge.
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ABSTRACT: The single-chain insulin (PIP) can spontaneously fold into native structure through preferred kinetic intermediates. During refolding, pairing of the first disulfide A20-B19 is highly specific, whereas pairing of the second disulfide is likely random because two two-disulfide intermediates have been trapped. To get more details of pairing property of the second disulfide, four model peptides of possible folding intermediates with two disulfides were prepared by protein engineering, and their properties were analyzed. The four model peptides were named [A20-B19, A7-B7]PIP, [A20-B19, A6-B7]PIP, [A20-B19, A6-A11]PIP, and [A20-B19, A7-A11]PIP according to their remaining disulfides. The four model peptides all adopt partially folded structure with moderate conformational differences. In redox buffer, the disulfides of the model peptides are more easily reduced than those of the wild-type PIP. During in vitro refolding, the reduced model peptides share similar relative folding rates but different folding yields: The refolding efficiency of the reduced [A20-B19, A7-A11]PIP is about threefold lower than that of the other three peptides. The present results indicate that the folding intermediates corresponding to the present model peptides all adopt partially folded conformation, and can be formed during PIP refolding, but the chance of forming the intermediate with disulfide [A20-B19, A7-A11] is much lower than that of forming the other three intermediates.Protein Science 12/2003; 12(11):2412-9. · 2.74 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Hydrophilic insulins, more positively charged than human insulin at neutral pH, have been prepared by substitution with basic amino acids at the termini of the B-chain and by blocking the C-terminal carboxyl group of the B-chain. The isoelectric pH of the insulin is thereby moved from 5.4 towards physiological levels. Slightly acid solutions of derivatives, in which charge has been added in the C-terminus of the B-chain, have a prolonged action in vivo, in particular if the carboxyl group is blocked. It is found that the prolonged-acting hydrophilic insulins crystallize instantly when the pH is adjusted to 7. The prolonged action is ascribed to this readiness to crystallization combined with a low solubility, which may be further decreased by increased concentration of zinc ions. Hydrophobic insulins have a prolonged action independent of the site of substitution even if the derivative is soluble at physiological pH. Some derivatives were prepared from porcine insulin by tryptic transpeptidation. N-terminal B-chain substituted insulins were prepared by alkylation of a biosynthetic single-chain insulin precursor, followed by tryptic transpeptidation rendering the double chain insulin derivative. The observed blood glucose lowering in the rabbits implies that neither N- nor C-terminal B-chain substitution results in substantial deterioration of biological potency. An index for the degree of protraction based on the blood glucose data is used to compare the insulins.Protein engineering 07/1987; 1(3):205-13.
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ABSTRACT: Although the structure of insulin has been well studied, the formation pathway of the three disulfide bridges during the refolding of insulin precursor is ambiguous. Here, we reported the in vitro disulfide-forming pathway of a recombinant porcine insulin precursor (PIP). In redox buffer containing L-arginine, the yield of native PIP from fully reduced/denatured PIP can reach 85%. The refolding process was quenched at different time points, and three distinct intermediates, including one with one disulfide linkage and two with two disulfide bridges, have been captured and characterized. An intra-A disulfide bridge was found in the former but not in the latter. The two intermediates with two disulfide bridges contain the common A20-B19 disulfide linkage and another inter-AB one. Based on the time-dependent formation and distribution of disulfide pairs in the trapped intermediates, two different forming pathways of disulfide bonds in the refolding process of PIP in vitro have been proposed. The first one involves the rapid formation of the intra-A disulfide bond, followed by the slower formation of one of the inter-AB disulfide bonds and then the pairing of the remaining cysteines to complete the refolding of PIP. The second pathway begins first with the formation of the A20-B19 disulfide bridge, followed immediately by another inter-AB one, possibly nonnative. The nonnative two-disulfide intermediates may then slowly rearrange between CysA6, CysA7, CysA11, and CysB7, until the native disulfide bond A6-A11 or A7-B7 is formed to complete the refolding of PIP. The proposed refolding behavior of PIP is compared with that of IGF-I and discussed.Biochemistry 04/2001; 40(9):2662-8. · 3.38 Impact Factor