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      Behavior in the eukaryotic secretory pathway of insulin-containing fusion proteins and single-chain insulins bearing various B-chain mutations.

      The Journal of Biological Chemistry

      metabolism, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, secretion, Recombinant Fusion Proteins, Protein Folding, Point Mutation, Mutation, chemistry, Insulin, Humans, Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel, pharmacology, Dithiothreitol, Disulfides, Cell Line

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          In the secretory pathway, endoproteolytic cleavage of the insulin precursor protein promotes a change in the biophysical properties of the processed insulin product, and this may be relevant for its intracellular trafficking. We have now studied several independent point mutants contained within the insulin B-chain, S9D, H10D, V12E (called B9D, B10D, and B12E), as well as the double point mutant P28K,K29P (B28K,B29P), that have been reported to inhibit insulin oligomerization. In yeast cells, the unprocessed precursor of each of these mutants is secreted, whereas >90% of the endoproteolytically released single-chain insulin moiety is retained intracellularly; a large portion of the B9D, B10D, and B12E single-chain insulins exhibit abnormally slow mobility upon nonreducing SDS-PAGE, despite normal mobility upon reducing SDS-PAGE. Although no free thiols can be detected, each of these mutants exhibits increased disulfide accessibility to dithiothreitol. After dithiothreitol treatment, a portion of the molecules can reoxidize to a form more compact than the original single-chain insulin mutants formed in vivo (indicating initial disulfide mispairing). Disulfide mispairing of a fraction of B9D, B10D, and B12E mutants also occurs in the context of single-chain insulin and even in authentic proinsulin expressed within the secretory pathway of mammalian cells. We conclude that analyses of the intracellular trafficking of certain oligomerization-defective insulin mutants is complicated by the formation of disulfide isomers in the secretory pathway.

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