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Equilibrium Folding of Porcine Insulin Precursor in the Presence of Redox Buffer: Implications for the Common Intermediates Shared by Its Unfolding/ Refolding Processes

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We use the procedure established for ‘disulfide stability analysis in redox system’ to investigate the unfolding process of porcine insulin precursor (PIP). Six major unfolding intermediates have been captured, in which four contain two disulfides, two contain one disulfide. Based on the characterization and analysis of the intermediates an unfolding pathway has been proposed, by which the native PIP unfolded through in turn 2SS and 1SS intermediates into fully reduced form. Besides, the comparison of the intermediates captured in PIP unfolding process with those intermediates captured in its refolding process revealed that some intermediates captured during both unfolding/refolding processes of PIP have identical disulfide pairing pattern, from which we suggest that the unfolding/refolding processes of PIP share some common intermediates but flow in the opposite direction.

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Keywords: Insulin; disulfide; folding; intermediate; single-chain insulin; unfolding

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-09-01

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  • Protein & Peptide Letters publishes short papers in all important aspects of protein and peptide research, including structural studies, recombinant expression, function, synthesis, enzymology, immunology, molecular modeling, drug design etc. Manuscripts must have a significant element of novelty, timeliness and urgency that merit rapid publication. Reports of crystallisation, and preliminary structure determinations of biologically important proteins are acceptable. Purely theoretical papers are also acceptable provided they provide new insight into the principles of protein/peptide structure and function.
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