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  Diabetes >> Diabetes and Insulin >> Structure of Insulin
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Structure of Insulin


Insulin is composed of 2 peptide chains i.e. A chain and B chain. Both the chains are linked together by two disulfide bonds, and one disulfide is formed within the A chain. In most species, the A chain consists of 21 amino acids and the B chain of 30 amino acids that means it is composed of 51 amino acids in two peptide chains (A and B). The three-dimensional structure of insulin molecule (insulin monomer) exists in two main conformations. These differ in the extent of helix in the B chain due to phenol or its derivatives.

In acid solutions, the insulin monomer assembles as dimmers (diffuses in the blood) neutral pH and in the presence of zinc ions, as hexamers. The intermediate and long acting insulin has high proportion of hexamers, to delay its action. The sequence of amino acid in insulin varies among species, certain segments are conserved, like positions of the three disulfide bonds, both ends of the A chain and the C-terminal residues of the B chain. These similarities in the amino acid sequence of insulin lead to a three dimensional conformation of insulin that is very similar among species, and insulin from one animal is very likely biologically active in other species. Indeed, pig insulin has been widely used for human.

Structure of Insulin



The first of these molecules to be marketed - called insulin lispro - is engineered such that lysine and proline resting on the C-terminal end of the B chain are reversed; this modification does not alter receptor binding, but minimizes the tendency to form dimmers and hexamers.


Diabetes and Insulin

See Other Articles Related to - Structure of Insulin

Structure of Insulin Insulin Synthesis
Insulin resistance Types of Insulin
Insulin Regimens Diabetes Insulin Classification
Diabetes and Insulin Analogs Insulin Injection Devices
Diabetes Treatment and Insulin Problems Insulin Syringes
Insulin Pump Inhaled Insulin
Diabetes and Blood Sugar Levels

by Blase Billack, Ph.D. Date Added: Wed 07 September, 2011
One of my students pointed out that the last amino acid of insulin is Thr, not Tyr. I believe he is correct. Regards.

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