Primary structures of new 'iso-hirudins'.
Crude hirudin (12.7 U/micrograms), a complex mixture of polypeptides obtained from the leech, could be separated by microbore HPLC. A combination of amino acid analysis, N-terminal microsequencing and chemical as well as enzymatic fragmentation made the primary sequence of the new isohirudins Ia-IIIb' accessible. The biological activity determined in the thrombin inhibition test showed a comparable value for all of these compounds. The results presented address the question as to whether these isohirudins are true mutations from a family of genes or a family of leeches.