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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Site-Specific PEGylation for High-Yield Preparation of Lys(21)-Amine PEGylated Growth Hormone-Releasing Factor ( GRF) (1-29) using a GRF(1-29) Derivative FMOC-Protected at Tyr(1) and Lys(12).

PEGylation has been viewed as an effective means of overcoming the therapeutic restriction of growth hormone-releasing factor (1-29) (GRF(1-29)) due to its short biological lifetime caused by severe proteolysis and rapid glomerular filtration. Of three isomers according to the PEGylation sites (Tyr1, Lys12, or Lys21), PEGylated GRF(1-29) at Lys21-amine (Lys21-PEG-GRF(1-29)) was shown to have the highest bioactivity. In this report, we propose a unique two-step site-specific PEGylation method capable of producing only Lys21-PEG-GRF(1-29) with a single composition in high yield using a GRF(1-29) derivative protected at Tyr1 and Lys12 and remained available at Lys21 (FMOC1,12-GRF(1-29)). The first step of this reaction involved the PEG attachment to FMOC1,12-GRF(1-29), and the second step involved the removal of FMOC moieties. This PEGylation process was optimized at the following conditions: 0.2-0.3% (v/v) triethylamine concentration, 5.0-6.0-fold molar amount of PEG, reaction temperature of 25-45 degrees C, and reaction time of 30 min. Under these conditions, the maximum yield of Lys21-PEG-GRF(1-29) produced was ca. approximately 95%, 6.3-fold higher than that by nonspecific PEGylation at pH 8. 5. Significantly, this site-specific Lys21-PEG-GRF(1-29) was found to have greatly increased resistance to rat plasma, liver, and kidney homogenates, with 7.0-, 25.4-, and 16.4-fold longer half-lives vs GRF(1-29), respectively. Furthermore, 125I-Lys21-PEG-GRF(1-29) displayed significantly reduced liver and kidney distributions and extended blood presence vs 125I-GRF(1-29) in rats. Due to these benefits, Lys21-PEG-GRF(1-29) displayed an enhanced initial growth hormone release in vivo despite having 15% remaining activity in vitro. This devised PEGylation method using an FMOC-protection/deprotection strategy would provide great usefulness for PEGylating bioactive peptides in terms of improved biological potency, elevated production yield, and a uniform composition.[1]


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