Eighteen analogues of somatostatin have been used in order to elucidate the structure-activity relationship of the peptide on the release of insulin and glucagon from the isolated perfused rat pancreas. Neither the amino terminal nor a free carboxyl terminal seemed to be essential for the activity of the cyclic peptide. Addition of amino acids to the amino terminal did not decrease the activity. On the other hand, minor changes in the structure of linear somatostatin, which lead to the loss of ability to form a cyclic peptide, impaired the activity. Deletion of Asn5 was accompanied by decreased action on glucagon but not on insulin release.
It seems that the major actions of somatostatin on the pancreas are bound to the amino acid sequence 4–13 in the molecule and to the ability of the molecule to cyclize.