Identification of a mutant human insulin predicted to contain a serine-for-phenylalanine substitution.
Using information gained from (i) the relative HPLC retention of an abnormal insulin present in the serum of a hyperinsulinemic diabetic patient and (ii) the loss of an Mbo II restriction site in one of the patient's insulin gene alleles, it was recently predicted that the mutant insulin contained a serine-for-phenylalanine substitution at position B24 or B25. We have now prepared human [SerB24]insulin and [SerB25]insulin by solid-phase peptide synthesis and semisynthesis using an improved approach whereby the protecting groups can be removed from the final product in a single step. During reversed-phase HPLC analysis, the two semisynthetic insulins were clearly separated from normal insulin and from each other. Analysis of the patient's immunoaffinity-purified serum insulin by HPLC and radioimmunoassay showed that the insulin eluted at the position of [SerB24]insulin and coeluted with the analog when the two were studied in admixture. Additional studies showed that [SerB24]insulin and [SerB25]insulin have about 16% and 0.5% of the activity of normal insulin, respectively, in stimulating glucose oxidation by isolated rat adipocytes. We conclude that the patient's abnormal insulin (insulin Los Angeles) is human [SerB24]insulin and that abnormal insulins with amino acid replacements at both positions B24 and B25 can be associated with human diabetes.