Human Insulin: Facile Synthesis by Modification of Porcine Insulin

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Science  18 Aug 1972:
Vol. 177, Issue 4049, pp. 623-626
DOI: 10.1126/science.177.4049.623


Human insulin differs from porcine insulin by a single amino acid— the carboxyl terminal residue of the B chain. By means of chemical and enzymatic treatment, it is possible to remove quantitatively and selectively the carboxyl terminal octapeptide from porcine insulin B chain. This fragment can be replaced by an analogous synthetic human octapeptide to give a protein which is identical to human insulin by a number of criteria. By this method, human insulin can be prepared on a large scale simply and inexpensively from porcine insulin. The method is also useful for preparing specifically labeled radioactive human insulin, as well as insulins with modified amino acid sequences, for research purposes.

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