Insulin molecule

Insulin molecule

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Credit: RAMON ANDRADE 3DCIENCIA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Insulin molecule. Molecular module of insulin showing its primary structure over a background of the molecule's electron density map. This map was produced by the British chemist Dorothy Hodgkin (1910-1994) from X-ray crystallography data. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas. It consists of two peptide chains, A and B, which are linked by disulphide bridges (yellow). This is the monomer form of the hormone, the active form, which circulates in the blood. Insulin is released from the pancreas when blood sugar levels are high, for example after a meal. Insufficient production of insulin leads to an accumulation of glucose in the blood causing diabetes.

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