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Curr Opin Struct Biol. 1998 Apr;8(2):189-94.

The role of assembly in insulin's biosynthesis.

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National Institute of Medical Research, London, UK.


Insulin is synthesised as a single-chain precursor, preproinsulin, that contains an N-terminal signal sequence and a connecting peptide linking the A and B chains of the insulin molecule. Nascent proinsulin is directed into the regulated secretory pathway, converted to insulin and stored as microcrystals. These processes exploit assembly to the zinc-containing hexamer. Structural, chemical and genetic studies, and experiments with transgenic animals and transfected cells are providing new details about the molecular events in insulin's biosynthesis.

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