Total Chemical Synthesis of an Intra-A-Chain Cystathionine Human Insulin Analogue with Enhanced Thermal Stability

John A. Karas, Nitin A. Patil, Julien Tailhades, Marc-Antoine Sani, Denis B. Scanlon, Briony E. Forbes, James Gardiner, Frances Separovic, John D. Wade, Mohammed Akhter Hossain

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42 Citations (Scopus)


Despite recent advances in the treatment of diabetes mellitus, storage of insulin formulations at 4 °C is still necessary to minimize chemical degradation. This is problematic in tropical regions where reliable refrigeration is not ubiquitous. Some degradation byproducts are caused by disulfide shuffling of cystine that leads to covalently bonded oligomers. Consequently we examined the utility of the non-reducible cystine isostere, cystathionine, within the A-chain. Reported herein is an efficient method for forming this mimic using simple monomeric building blocks. The intra-A-chain cystathionine insulin analogue was obtained in good overall yield, chemically characterized and demonstrated to possess native binding affinity for the insulin receptor isoform B. It was also shown to possess significantly enhanced thermal stability indicating potential application to next-generation insulin analogues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14743-14747
Number of pages6
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number47
Publication statusPublished - 14 Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • cystathionine
  • cystine
  • diabetes mellitus
  • insulin
  • solid-phase peptide synthesis

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