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Diabetologia. 1997 Jul;40 Suppl 2:S54-61.

Modifications in the B10 and B26-30 regions of the B chain of human insulin alter affinity for the human IGF-I receptor more than for the insulin receptor.

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  • 1Endocrine Research Division, Lilly Research Laboratories, Eli Lilly and Company, Lilly Corporate Center, Indianapolis, Indiana 46285, USA.


Inversion of the natural sequence of the B chain of human insulin (HI) from ProB28LysB29 to LysB28ProB29 generates an insulin analogue with reduced tendency to self-associate. Since this substitution increases the homology of insulin to insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), we have examined the affinity of a series of insulin analogues with the general modified structure XaaB28ProB29 HI for binding to both human placental insulin and IGF-I receptors. The XaaB28ProB29 HI series is approximately equipotent to HI in binding to the insulin receptor with the exception of when Xaa = Phe, Trp, Leu, Ile, and Gly (40-60% relative to HI). Substitution with basic residues in the B28 position increased the relative affinity to the IGF-I receptor approximately 1.5-2-fold (ArgB28ProB29 > OrnB28ProB29 = LysB28ProB29). Substitution with acidic residues reduced relative affinity for the IGF-I receptor approximately 2-fold (CyaB28ProB29 = GluB28ProB29 > AspB28ProB29). Combination of AspB10 substitution in conjunction with a modification in the B28-29 position (e.g. AspB10LysB28ProB29 HI) showed an additional 2-fold selective increase in affinity for the IGF-I receptor, suggesting that these two effects are additive. Addition of Arg residues at B31-32, on the backbone of either HI or AspB10 HI, increased affinity for the IGF-I receptor 10 and 28 fold, respectively, compared to HI, confirming the significance of enhanced positive charge at the C-terminal end of the insulin B-chain in increasing selectivity for the IGF-I receptor. This relative increase in IGF-I receptor affinity correlated largely, but not completely, with enhanced growth promoting activity in human mammary epithelial cells. In the case of LysB28ProB29 HI, growth activity correlated with dissociation kinetics from the insulin receptor which were shown to be identical with those of human insulin.

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