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Proinsulin contains six cysteines whose specific pairing (A6-A11, A7-B7, and A20-B19) is a defining feature of the insulin fold. Pairing information is contained within A and B domains as demonstrated by studies of insulin chain recombination. Two insulin isomers containing non-native disulfide bridges ([A7-A11,A6-B7,A20-B19] and [A6-A7,A11-B7,A20-B19]),(More)
Caenorhabditis elegans contains a family of putative insulin-like genes proposed to regulate dauer arrest and senescence. These sequences often lack characteristic sequence features of human insulin essential for its folding, structure, and function. Here, we describe the structure and receptor-binding properties of INS-6, a single-chain polypeptide(More)
The A and B chains of insulin combine to form native disulfide bridges without detectable isomers. The fidelity of chain combination thus recapitulates the folding of proinsulin, a precursor protein in which the two chains are tethered by a disordered connecting peptide. We have recently shown that chain combination is blocked by seemingly conservative(More)
The insulins of eutherian mammals contain histidines at positions B5 and B10. The role of His(B10) is well defined: although not required in the mature hormone for receptor binding, in the islet beta cell this side chain functions in targeting proinsulin to glucose-regulated secretory granules and provides axial zincbinding sites in storage hexamers. In(More)
How insulin binds to the insulin receptor has long been a subject of speculation. Although the structure of the free hormone has been extensively characterized, a variety of evidence suggests that a conformational change occurs upon receptor binding. Here, we employ chiral mutagenesis, comparison of corresponding d and l amino acid substitutions, to(More)
How insulin binds to its receptor is unknown despite decades of investigation. Here, we employ chiral mutagenesis-comparison of corresponding d and l amino acid substitutions in the hormone-to define a structural switch between folding-competent and active conformations. Our strategy is motivated by the T --> R transition, an allosteric feature of(More)
Oxidative folding of insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) and single-chain insulin analogs proceeds via one- and two-disulfide intermediates. A predominant one-disulfide intermediate in each case contains the canonical A20-B19 disulfide bridge (cystines 18-61 in IGF-I and 19-85 in human proinsulin). Here, we describe a disulfide-linked peptide model of this(More)
To investigate the cooperativity of insulin's structure, a cavity-forming substitution was introduced within the hydrophobic core of an engineered monomer. The substitution, Ile(A2)-->Ala in the A1-A8 alpha-helix, does not impair disulfide pairing between chains. In accord with past studies of cavity-forming mutations in globular proteins, a decrement was(More)
Maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODY3), a monogenic form of type II diabetes mellitus, results most commonly from mutations in hepatocyte nuclear factor 1alpha (HNF-1alpha). Diabetes-associated mutation G20R perturbs the dimerization domain of HNF-1alpha, an intertwined four-helix bundle. In the wild-type structure G20 participates in a Schellman(More)
A central tenet of molecular biology holds that the function of a protein is mediated by its structure. An inactive ground-state conformation may nonetheless be enjoined by the interplay of competing biological constraints. A model is provided by insulin, well characterized at atomic resolution by x-ray crystallography. Here, we demonstrate that the(More)