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

Glucagon: structure-function relationships investigated by sequence deletions.

A series of glucagon analogues, des-(1-4)-glucagon, des-(5-9)-glucagon, des-(10-15)-glucagon, des-(16-21)-glucagon, des-(22-26)-glucagon and des-(27-29)-glucagon, were prepared by condensation of synthetic fragments and characterized biologically and immunologically. Fully synthetic glucagon was also characterized. The potencies with regard to glucagon receptor binding in purified rat liver plasma membranes were, in decreasing order: synthetic glucagon 108%, des-(1-4)-glucagon 5.7%, des-(27-29)-glucagon 0.92%, des-(5-9)-glucagon 0.47%, des-(10-15)-glucagon 0.0028%, des-(16-21)-glucagon 0.0017% and des-(22-26)-glucagon 0.00060% relative to that of natural porcine glucagon. Des-(27-29)-glucagon was the only analogue that activated the adenylate cyclase in rat liver plasma membranes or stimulated the lipolysis in isolated free fat cells from rat epididymal fat pad. The potencies were 0.16% and 0.20% of that of glucagon, respectively. Des-(1-4)-glucagon was a glucagon antagonist in the adenylate cyclase assay. The immunoreactivities of the glucagon analogues were determined with two commonly used anti-glucagon sera, K 5563 and K 4023, directed towards the C-terminus and some segment in the sequence 2-23, respectively. In the K 5563 assay, des-(27-29)-glucagon and des-(22-26)-glucagon had potencies of 0.0009% and less than 0.09% of that of glucagon, respectively. The remaining analogues had potencies varying from 45% to 141% of that of glucagon. In the K 4023 assay, the analogues showed a non-linear dilution effect. The combined results indicate a partition within the glucagon molecule with regard to receptor binding and adenylate cyclase activation. The region 10-26 appears to be the most important for receptor binding, whereas 1-4 is essential for adenylate cyclase activation. The C-terminal segment 27-29 is important for the maintenance of full receptor binding but non-essential for adenylate cyclase activation.[1]


  1. Glucagon: structure-function relationships investigated by sequence deletions. Frandsen, E.K., Grønvald, F.C., Heding, L.G., Johansen, N.L., Lundt, B.F., Moody, A.J., Markussen, J., Vølund, A. Hoppe-Seyler's Z. Physiol. Chem. (1981) [Pubmed]
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