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

Semisynthetic derivatives of glucagon. The contribution of histidine-1 to hormone conformation and activity.

Semisynthetic N epsilon- acetimidoglucagon was prepared from the [des- His1 ]analogue by coupling the N-hydroxysuccinimide ester of N alpha- tBoc - Nimidazole -DNP-L-histidine to the peptide in dimethylformamide in the presence of 1-hydroxybenzotriazole. The deprotected, purified product was chemically identical to N epsilon- acetimidoglucagon and equipotent to N epsilon- acetimidoglucagon and native glucagon in its ability to activate adenylate cyclase and displace [125I] iodoglucagon from rat liver plasma membranes. Semisynthetic [ Phe1 ]-, [ Ala1 ]-, and [des- His1 ] glucagons prepared similarly achieved 85, 55, and 35% of the maximal activity and 22, 2, and 6% of the binding potency of N epsilon- acetimidoglucagon . The biological assays indicate that the amino group is involved to a greater extent in transduction than in binding, but the aromatic nature and hydrogen bonding capability of the imidazole ring of histidine-1 are important for both binding and transduction. In circular dichroism studies, all derivatives exhibited increased helicity in 2-chloroethanol. The [ Phe1 ] analogue although less soluble behaved similarly to native glucagon, while the [ Ala1 ] and [des- His1 ] derivatives exhibited an increased helical content in 0.01 N HCl as a result of an increased propensity of these derivatives to self-associate in the absence of 2-chloroethanol. The unexpected conformational changes throughout the molecule may have relevance for the functional activity.[1]


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