Reaction conditions are described that permit the enzyme-assisted semi-synthetic replacement of residue B30 of pig insulin (or of analogue) to proceed in very high yield in 2 h or less. Immobilized trypsin may be used as catalyst, and excess amino acid ester may be recycled after a simple extraction. Alanine-B30 may be replaced by a variety of nucleophiles, including threonine O-t-butyl ether t-butyl ester, in which case the yield of crude product is about 99%. De-protection of the B30 threonyl ester analogue of insulin thus formed then affords human insulin in an overall yield of about 92%, based on pig starting material. The product has full biological potency, as determined by depression of blood glucose concentration in rats, and showed the expected behaviour on radioimmunoassay.
- © 1983 London: The Biochemical Society