Journal article

The chemical synthesis of insulin: From the past to the present

A Belgi, MA Hossain, GW Tregear, JD Wade

Immunology, Endocrine and Metabolic Agents in Medicinal Chemistry | Published : 2011


Insulin is a circulating peptide hormone that is best known as a critical regulator of glucose levels. It consists of two peptide chains (A and B) that are held together by two disulfide bonds and a third within the A-chain. The first milestone step towards its chemical synthesis was made by Sanger and colleagues who were the first to determine the primary sequence of sheep insulin as well as the precise pairings of the disulfide bonds. However, it was more than ten years before the first total chemical synthesis of bovine insulin was achieved which was via conventional solution phase synthesis of the two individual chains followed by their random combination and folding in solution. Later i..

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