Insulin plays a crucial physiological role in glucose control by initiating a number of signaling events on binding and activating its cell surface receptor. Insulin mimics have, therefore, become promising agents for treating diabetes and to probe the mechanism of interaction of insulin with its receptor. Specifically, many insulin-mimetic peptide sequences have been discovered and found to selectively function as agonists and antagonists, but their structures and the mechanistic details of their interactions with the receptor remain challenging to characterize. In this work, we have studied the folding properties and structure of a Site 1 insulin mimetic peptide S371 that has sequence similarities with the insulin B-chain as well as with a critical hormone-binding element of the receptor known as the C-terminal (CT) peptide. We first validated our simulation approaches by predicting the known solution structure of the insulin B-chain helix and then applied them to study the folding of the mimetic peptide S371. Our data predict a helical fold for the first 16 residues of S371 that has a resemblance to the helical motifs in the insulin B-chain and CT. We also propose receptor-bound models of S371 that provide mechanistic explanations for competing binding properties of S371 and CT to the Site 1 of IR. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.