Insulin-cholera toxin binding unit conjugate: a hybrid molecule with insulin biological activity and cholera toxin binding specificity

Journal of Cellular Physiology
R A Roth, B A Maddux

Abstract

The polypeptide hormone insulin and the binding unit of cholera toxin (CTB) were coupled via a disulfide bond. This hybrid molecule had 1/30 the ability of native insulin to bind to the insulin receptor and 1/30 the biological activity of native insulin in H35 rat hepatoma cells and rat adipocytes. Thus, in these two cell types that are very sensitive to insulin, the biological activity of the hybrid molecule was as predicted on the basis of the ability of the molecule to interact with the insulin receptor. In contrast, in HTC rat hepatoma cells and rat thymocytes, two poorly responsive cell types, the insulin-CTB conjugate had 1/3 the biological activity of native insulin, a value 10 times greater than its insulin receptor binding potency. This increased activity of the conjugate did not appear to be due to cholera toxin in the preparation, since a control of uncoupled CTB had no biological activity. Furthermore, native cholera toxin increased intracellular levels of cAMP by 20-fold, whereas the conjugate had no effect on cAMP levels. The CTB moiety did, however, contribute to the biological activity of the conjugate, since the activity of the hybrid molecule, like cholera toxin, was inhibited by gangliosides, whereas the acti...Continue Reading

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