Toward the solution structure of human insulin: sequential 2D 1H NMR assignment of a des-pentapeptide analogue and comparison with crystal structure.
2D 1H NMR studies are presented of des-pentapeptide-insulin, an analogue of human insulin lacking the C-terminal five residues of the B chain. Removal of these residues, which are not required for function, is shown to reduce conformational broadening previously described in the spectrum of intact insulin [Weiss et al. (1989) Biochemistry 28, 9855-9873]. This difference presumably reflects more rapid internal motions in the fragment, which lead to more complete averaging of chemical shifts on the NMR time scale. Sequential 1H NMR assignment and preliminary structural analysis demonstrate retention in solution of the three alpha-helices observed in the crystal state and the relative orientation of the receptor-binding surfaces. These studies provide a foundation for determining the solution structure of insulin.