Comparative 2D NMR studies of human insulin and des-pentapeptide insulin: sequential resonance assignment and implications for protein dynamics and receptor recognition.
The solution structure and dynamics of human insulin are investigated by 2D 1H NMR spectroscopy in reference to a previously analyzed analogue, des-pentapeptide(B26-B30) insulin (DPI; Hua, Q.X., & Weiss, M.A. (1990) Biochemistry 29, 10545-10555). This spectroscopic comparison is of interest since (i) the structure of the C-terminal region of the B-chain has not been determined in the monomeric state and (ii) the role of this region in binding to the insulin receptor has been the subject of long-standing speculation. The present NMR studies are conducted in the presence of an organic cosolvent (20% acetic acid), under which conditions both proteins are monomeric and stably folded. Complete sequential assignment of human insulin is obtained and leads to the following conclusions. (1) The secondary structure of the insulin monomer (three alpha-helices and B-chain beta-turn) is similar to that observed in the 2-Zn crystal state. (2) The folding of DPI is essentially the same as the corresponding portion of intact insulin, in accord with the similarities between their respective crystal structures. However, differences between insulin and DPI are observed in the extent of conformational broadening of amide resonances, indicating that the presence or absence of residues B26-B30 influences the overall dynamics of the protein on the millisecond time scale. (3) Residues B24-B28 adopt an extended configuration in the monomer and pack against the hydrophobic core as in crystallographic dimers; residues B29 and B30 are largely disordered. This configuration differs from that described in a more organic milieu (35% acetonitrile; Kline, A.D., & Justice, R.M., Jr. (1990) Biochemistry 29, 2906-2913), suggesting that the conformation of insulin in the latter study may have been influenced by solvent composition. (4) The insulin fold is shown to provide a model for collective motions in a protein with implications for the mechanism of protein-protein recognition. To our knowledge, this paper describes the first detailed analysis of a protein NMR spectrum under conditions of extensive conformational broadening. Such an analysis is made possible in the present case by comparative study of an analogue (DPI) with more tractable spectroscopic properties.