European Biophysics Journal

, Volume 47, Issue 8, pp 881–889 | Cite as

Evidence of oligomerization of bovine insulin in solution given by NMR

  • S. V. Efimov
  • Yu. O. Zgadzay
  • N. B. Tarasova
  • V. V. Klochkov
Original Article


The protein hormone insulin exists in several forms in nature, and a large number of modified sequences are used in pharmacy. They differ by physicochemical properties and efficiency of biological action. Pancreatic bovine insulin was studied in an acidic solution by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. \(^{1}\)H and \(^{13}\)C NMR signal assignment of backbone and side chains was made by analysis of a set of 2D spectra obtained on a sample with natural isotope abundance. The presence of certain secondary structure elements was revealed on a qualitative level based on nuclear Overhauser effect spectroscopy, which are similar to those observed in the crystal structure. The C-terminus of the B-chain possessed a remarkable flexibility. The molecule was shown to exist in exchange with oligomers based on its self-diffusion coefficient and correlation time measurements performed at different concentrations. Certain signals in the NOESY and HSQC spectra are consistent with the presence of minor conformers; this is an obstacle in simulating the molecular structure under the conditions used in the experiment.


Bovine insulin Secondary structure NMR NOESY DOSY Oligomerization 



This work was funded by the subsidy of the Russian Government to support the Program of Competitive Growth of Kazan Federal University among world’s leading academic centers and by the subsidy allocated to Kazan Federal University for the state assignment in the sphere of scientific activities (Center of Shared Facilities; VVK acknowledges the project no. 3.5283.2017/6.7).


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Copyright information

© European Biophysical Societies' Association 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. V. Efimov
    • 1
  • Yu. O. Zgadzay
    • 1
  • N. B. Tarasova
    • 2
  • V. V. Klochkov
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of NMR spectroscopy, Institute of PhysicsKazan Federal UniversityKazanRussia
  2. 2.Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Kazan Institute of Biochemistry and BiophysicsFRC Kazan Scientific Center of RASKazanRussia

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