Bovine and human insulin have similar primary structures. In this article, the region of the insulin A-chain of bovine and human insulin where the amino acid composition is different was studied. Bovine insulin fragment (BIF) and human insulin fragment (HIF) were synthesized in solid-phase peptide synthesis. The effects of pH, temperature, urea, ionic strength, and stirring on the formation of fibrils were studied using a fractional factorial resolution III experimental design. Fibrillation was monitored by fluorescence and infrared spectroscopy and optical microscopy. Both fragments formed fibrils at pH 1.6 and a temperature of 60 °C. The lag time and apparent aggregation growth rate constant were determined using a two-parameter kinetic model. It was found that the bovine insulin fragment has a shorter lag time than the human insulin one, whereas the exponential phase rate was faster for HIF than for BIF. An increase in β-sheets content with time was observed in both fragments. The increase in β-sheets was preceded by an initial decrease in α-helices followed by an intermediate increase during the transition from the lag phase to elongation phase. Temperature and ionic strength are among the most important experimental factors during the lag phase, whereas ionic strength is replaced by pH during the elongation phase for both the fragments. Congo red binding confirmed the presence of ringlike oligomer structures rich in antiparallel β-sheets, which tend to form fibrils rich in parallel β-sheets.


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering


The work done on this project was funded in part by the National Science Foundation (CBET 0933468).

Keywords and Phrases

Amyloid; Amyloid beta-Peptides; amyloid-β peptide

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Document Type

Article - Journal

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Final Version

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Publication Date

01 Aug 2018