The Role of Chemistry in History

The Role of Chemistry in History header image 2

Chemical Structure

April 30th, 2008 · 2 Comments ·

Introduction to Insulin / Chemical Structure / Methods of Production and Administering / Diabetes / Insulin Affects History / History Affects Insulin


Insulin Monomer

Space filling model of the insulin monomer

Basic structure

  • insulin molecule contains 51 amino acids
  • made up of two peptide chains linked by disulphide bonds

Structure 2

  • the insulin hormone has a complex 3D structure consisting of three short helices and 3 disulphide bridges
  • the basic fold is present in all members of the insulin peptide family
  • the positions of the disulphide bonds are invariant in mammalian forms of insulin
    • insulin as medication was extracted in the past from cows, horses and pigs – only slight differences in the amino acid structure
    • differences in suitability of beef or pork derived insulin for individual patients have been due to lower preparation purity resulting in allergic reactions to the presence of non-insulin substances/”impurities”
    • synthetic “human” insulin is now manufactured for widespread clinical use through genetic engineering techniques using recombinant DNA technology, which reduces the presence of many impurities

Tags: Insulin