Proteolysis of insulin or (pre)proinsulin with S. aureus protease V8 in Tris buffer at neutral pH yields a characteristic pattern of peptide fragments that is resolved using high-performance liquid chromatography. Identification of the fragments of interest was achieved by comparison of insulins of different species, of modified insulins and of proinsulin and N-extended proinsulin, and by amino acid analysis.

The fingerprint method allows, for example, the simultaneous analysis of porcine and human insulin, the identification of a modified insulin generated in dosing devices, as well as the individual analysis of the two disulfide linkages between the A- and B-chain in refolded insulins.

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