Design of an insulin analog with enhanced receptor-binding selectivity. Rationale, structure, and therapeutic implications
[INS_HUMAN] Defects in INS are the cause of familial hyperproinsulinemia (FHPRI) [MIM:176730].    Defects in INS are a cause of diabetes mellitus insulin-dependent type 2 (IDDM2) [MIM:125852]. IDDM2 is a multifactorial disorder of glucose homeostasis that is characterized by susceptibility to ketoacidosis in the absence of insulin therapy. Clinical fetaures are polydipsia, polyphagia and polyuria which result from hyperglycemia-induced osmotic diuresis and secondary thirst. These derangements result in long-term complications that affect the eyes, kidneys, nerves, and blood vessels. Defects in INS are a cause of diabetes mellitus permanent neonatal (PNDM) [MIM:606176]. PNDM is a rare form of diabetes distinct from childhood-onset autoimmune diabetes mellitus type 1. It is characterized by insulin-requiring hyperglycemia that is diagnosed within the first months of life. Permanent neonatal diabetes requires lifelong therapy.  Defects in INS are a cause of maturity-onset diabetes of the young type 10 (MODY10) [MIM:613370]. MODY10 is a form of diabetes that is characterized by an autosomal dominant mode of inheritance, onset in childhood or early adulthood (usually before 25 years of age), a primary defect in insulin secretion and frequent insulin-independence at the beginning of the disease.  
[INS_HUMAN] Insulin decreases blood glucose concentration. It increases cell permeability to monosaccharides, amino acids and fatty acids. It accelerates glycolysis, the pentose phosphate cycle, and glycogen synthesis in liver.
Publication Abstract from PubMed
Insulin binds with high affinity to the insulin receptor (IR) and with low affinity to the type 1 insulin-like growth factor (IGF) receptor (IGFR). Such cross-binding, which reflects homologies within the insulin-IGF signaling system, is of clinical interest in relation to the association between hyperinsulinemia and colorectal cancer. Here, we employ nonstandard mutagenesis to design an insulin analog with enhanced affinity for the IR but reduced affinity for the IGFR. Unnatural amino acids were introduced by chemical synthesis at the N- and C-capping positions of a recognition alpha-helix (residues A1 and A8). These sites adjoin the hormone-receptor interface as indicated by photocross-linking studies. Specificity is enhanced more than 3-fold on the following: (i) substitution of Gly(A1) by D-Ala or D-Leu, and (ii) substitution of Thr(A8) by diaminobutyric acid (Dab). The crystal structure of [D-Ala(A1),Dab(A8)]insulin, as determined within a T(6) zinc hexamer to a resolution of 1.35 A, is essentially identical to that of human insulin. The nonstandard side chains project into solvent at the edge of a conserved receptor-binding surface shared by insulin and IGF-I. Our results demonstrate that modifications at this edge discriminate between IR and IGFR. Because hyperinsulinemia is typically characterized by a 3-fold increase in integrated postprandial insulin concentrations, we envisage that such insulin analogs may facilitate studies of the initiation and progression of cancer in animal models. Future development of clinical analogs lacking significant IGFR cross-binding may enhance the safety of insulin replacement therapy in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus at increased risk of colorectal cancer.
Design of an insulin analog with enhanced receptor binding selectivity: rationale, structure, and therapeutic implications.,Zhao M, Wan ZL, Whittaker L, Xu B, Phillips NB, Katsoyannis PG, Ismail-Beigi F, Whittaker J, Weiss MA J Biol Chem. 2009 Nov 13;284(46):32178-87. Epub 2009 Sep 22. PMID:19773552
From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.