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Shedding light on insulin aggregation - .PDF file.

insulin aggregation

Therapeutic proteins, such as antibodies, hormones and enzymes are a major focus of the pharmaceutical industry.

Formulation of stable protein drugs is challenging, as most proteins are sensitive to sunlight, high and low temperatures, pH, and so on. Exposure to these conditions can lead to irreversible denaturation or to aggregation. Protein aggregates lead to a loss of biological activity of the drug and can cause severe adverse reactions in the patients.

Protein aggregation can be monitored rather simply by using light scattering techniques. Particle size and particle mass can be measured quickly and conveniently by using dynamic and static light scattering, respectively. Furthermore, the transmittance can also provide a very rapid indication of the extent of aggregation.

An excellent case study for examining the aggregation behaviour of pharmaceutical proteins is human insulin, a peptide hormone that is used to treat diabetes mellitus.

Under certain conditions of pH and temperature, insulin is known to denature and gradually form filaments. These eventually assemble into large fibrils, a process known as amyloid fibrillation, an irreversible process which leads to a complete loss of biological activity.

Amyloid fibrillation has been directly implicated in several degenerative pathologies such as Alzheimer and Parkinson diseases. Because of insulin’s ease of access, insulin fibrillation has been the subject of intense biochemical studies and has emerged as a major model for the formation of amyloid aggregates. Thus, methods allowing a quick and reliable analysis of the oligomerization as well as the fibrillation of insulin are meaningful not only for the quality control of pharmaceutical insulin batches but also to gain a deeper understanding of the amyloid fibrillation process.

Download the report from Anton Paar to learn how light scattering can be used to monitor insulin’s state in solution.

Anton Paar Ltd

Anton Paar develops, produces and distributes highly accurate laboratory instruments and process measuring systems, and provides custom-tailored automation and robotic solutions.

Anton Paar develops, produces and distributes highly accurate laboratory instruments and process measuring systems, and provides custom-tailored automation and robotic solutions.

It is the world leader in the measurement of density, concentration and CO2 and in the field of Rheometry. Other areas of specialty are: Viscometry, Polarimetry, Refractometry, Microwave Sample Preparation & Synthesis, Chemical and Mechanical Surface and Nanostructure Analysis.

With over 2200 employees at the headquarters in Graz (Austria) and the 25 sales subsidiaries worldwide, Anton Paar ensure that their products live up to their excellent reputation. The core competence of the company – high-precision production – and close contact to the scientific community form the basis for the quality of Anton Paar’s instruments.

A strong sales network in more than 110 countries guarantees customers rapid support and answers to their application and service queries.

Innovation is the basis for progress and every year Anton Paar invests more than 20 percent of the annual turnover in R&D.

Anton Paar Limited, a subsidiary of Anton Paar GmbH, provides sales, application support and service to users across the UK and Ireland.

With an office in St Albans (UK) and Dublin (Ireland) and a team of over 30 dedicated employees, Anton Paar Limited aims to provide first-class service at every stage in the customer relationship, ensuring our products live up to their excellent reputation.

Anton Paar Ltd
Unit F, The Courtyard
St Albans

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