Polymer and Materials Science
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
This paper discusses the hypothesis that insulin undergoes a conformational change either before or during its binding to the receptor. The evidence for this is not conclusive but allows us to reconcile the following observations: (1) no chemical modification or deletion of invariant surface residues has abolished the hormone's activity - only reduced its potency. (2) Reduction in potency follows many modifications to different side chains, both variant and invariant. (3) There are insulins with perfectly preserved structure (by the criteria of aggregation, spectroscopy, and x-ray analysis) that have markedly reduced potency. (4) Insulins with disturbed structure still exhibit real, sometimes substantial activity.
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