The aggregation behavior of zinc-free insulin studied by small-angle neutron scattering

J.S. Pedersen, S. Hansen, R. Bauer

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    The aggregation behavior of zinc-free insulin has been studied by small-angle neutron scattering as a function of pH and ionic strength of the solution. The pair distance distribution functions for the 12 samples have been obtained by indirect Fourier transformation. The results show that the diameter of the aggregates is 40 Angstrom at pH 11 and 10 mM NaCl, independent of the protein concentration. The largest diameter of about 120 Angstrom is found for pH 8, 100 mM NaCl, and a protein concentration of 10 mg/ml. Estimates of the pair distance distribution functions, free of inter-particle correlation effects, were obtained by an indirect Fourier transformation, omitting the data at small scattering vectors, which are influenced by these effects. By this procedure the weight-averaged molecular mass and the average radius of gyration were determined. These parameters vary from 1.3 times the monomer mass and 14 Angstrom to 6.8 times the monomer mass and 31 Angstrom, respectively. The mass distribution between the oligomers was determined by a model based on the crystal structure of zinc-free insulin. The results from this model and the Fourier transformations have been compared to an equilibrium model recently introduced by Kadima et al. (1993). The neutron scattering results agree well with the predictions of this model except that broader mass distributions are suggested by neutron scattering.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalEuropean Biophysics Journal With Biophysics Letters
    Issue number6
    Pages (from-to)379-389
    Publication statusPublished - 1994


    • Zinc-free insulin
    • Aggregation
    • Small-angle neutron scattering

    Cite this