Isolation and amino acid sequences of squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciurea) insulin and glucagon

Jing Hua Yu, John Eng, Rosalyn S. Yalow

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6 Scopus citations


It was reported two decades ago that insulin was not detectable in the glucose-stimulated state in Saimiri sciurea, the New World squirrel monkey, by a radioimmunoassay system developed with guinea pig anti-pork insulin antibody and labeled pork insulin. With the same system, reasonable levels were observed in rhesus monkeys and chimpanzees. This suggested that New World monkeys, like the New World hystricomorph rodents such as the guinea pig and the coypu, might have insulins whose sequences differ markedly from those of Old World mammals. In this report we describe the purification and amino acid sequences of squirrel monkey insulin and glucagon. We demonstrate that the substitutions at B29, B27, A2, A4, and A17 of squirrel monkey insulin are identical with those previously found in another New World primate, the owl monkey (Aotus trivirgatus). The immunologic cross-reactivity of this insulin in our immunoassay system is only a few percent of that of human insulin. Squirrel monkey glucagon is identical with the usual glucagon found in Old World mammals, which predicts that the glucagons of other New World monkeys would not differ from the usual Old World mammalian glucagon. It appears that the peptides of the New World monkeys have diverged less from those of the Old World mammals than have those of the New World hystricomorph rodents. The striking improvements in peptide purification and sequencing have the potential for adding new information concerning the evolutionary divergence of species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9766-9768
Number of pages3
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number24
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • Marmoset monkey
  • New World primate
  • Owl monkey


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