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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Structure-function relationships of S-carboxymethyl methionine27 glucagon.

Carboxymethylation of glucagon and subsequent purification of the hormone has provided a derivative modified by the addition of bulk to the methionine at position 27 without a net charge alteration in the side chain. Unreacted glucagon was removed after methylation of the methionine which provides a positively charged chromatographic handle. The derivative has a half-maximum concentration for binding of 5.3 nM and is a full agonist. These findings along with those provided by methylation of the methionine indicate that a positive charge rather than bulk on the methionine side chain disrupts the binding of hormone to its receptor. The S-carboxymethyl derivative lacks the concentration-dependent aggregation characteristic of glucagon at pH 10.2 as does the S-methyl derivative but increases its helical content in 30% 2-chloroethanol to the same extent as native and S-methyl hormone. Full activity of the S-carboxymethyl methionine27 glucagon does not favor the existence of the globular structure proposed by Korn and Ottensmeyer [(1983) J. Theor. Biol. 105, 403] as the binding species whereas multiple considerations do favor a flexible hormone with nucleation followed by conformational changes for complete binding and activation. Isotopic enrichment using labeled iodoacetate is feasible and can provide more definitive structural information.[1]


  1. Structure-function relationships of S-carboxymethyl methionine27 glucagon. Cornely, K.A., Shelter, K.A., England, R.D., Horwitz, E.M., Gurd, R.S. Arch. Biochem. Biophys. (1985) [Pubmed]
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