New results present C-peptide as a biologically active peptide hormone in its own right. Although C-peptide is formed from proinsulin and cosecreted with insulin, it is a separate entity with biochemical and physiological characteristics that differ from those of insulin. There is direct evidence of stereospecific binding of C-peptide to a cell surface receptor, which is different from those for insulin and other related hormones. The C-peptide binding site is most likely a G-protein-coupled receptor. The association constant for C-peptide binding is approximately 3 × 109 M-1. Saturation of the binding occurs already at a concentration of about 1 nM, which explains why C-peptide effects are not observed in healthy subjects. Binding of C-peptide results in activation of Ca2+ and MAPK-dependent pathways and stimulation of Na+,K+-ATPase and eNOS activities. The latter 2 enzymes are both deficient in several tissues in type 1 diabetes. There is some evidence that C-peptide, and insulin may interact synergistically on the insulin signaling pathway. Clinical evidence suggests that replacement of C-peptide, together with regular insulin therapy, may be beneficial in patients with type 1 diabetes and serve to retard or prevent the development of long-term complications. Copyright © Taylor and Francis Inc.
Wahren, J., Shafqat, J., Johansson, J., Chibalin, A., Ekberg, K., & Jörnvall, H. (2004, January). Molecular and cellular effects of C-peptide - New perspectives on an old peptide. Experimental Diabesity Research. https://doi.org/10.1080/15438600490424479