Syntheses of human, dog, rat, and duck C-peptides and their analogues and preliminary results on the total synthesis of human proinsulin are described.
In the syntheses of the C-peptides, chain elongation was performed exclusively by the azide-fragment condensation method in solution. The synthetic human, dog, rat, and duck C-peptides and their analogues were proved to be homogeneous by several analytic means. With these synthetic peptides, radioimmunoassay systems for dog, rat, and duck C-peptides were developed.
For the total synthesis of human proinsulin, 10 protected peptide hydrazides were prepared, and the linearly protected hexaoctacontapeptide having the proposed sequence of human proinsulin was constructed by the azide-fragment condensation method in solution starting from the C-terminal undecapeptide (HP 75–86). After deblocking of the α-amino protection, the partially protected hexaoctacontapeptide was treated with sodium in liquid ammonia. The ensuing sulfhydryl form was converted to the S-sutfonate form, which was reduced and then air-oxidized. The oxidized material was purified by gel filtration on Sephadex G-50 (fine) followed by ion-exchange chromatography on DEAE-cellulose. The crossreactivity in the insulin radioimmunoassay of the ensuing product was 62.5 per cent of porcine proinsulin on a weight basis at B/B0 = 60 per cent.
Acid hydrolysis and amino acid analysis of this product gave the theoretically expected ratios. In addition, this peptide, as well as the S-sutfonate form of the hexaoctacontapeptide, showed displacement curves superimposable on that of synthetic human C-peptide on an equimolar basis in the human C-peptide radioimmunoassay (antiserum 527). These results confirm the synthesis of human proinsulin.