Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Method to strengthen proteins with polymers

Date:
May 21, 2012
Source:
University of California - Los Angeles
Summary:
Scientists have synthesized polymers to attach to proteins in order to stabilize them during shipping, storage and other activities. The study findings suggest that these polymers could be useful in stabilizing protein formulations.

How polymer based on a natural sugar stabilizes proteins.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of California - Los Angeles

Proteins are widely used as drugs -- insulin for diabetics is the best known example -- and as reagents in research laboratories, but they react poorly to fluctuations in temperature and are known to degrade in storage.

Because of this instability, proteins must be shipped and stored at regulated temperatures, resulting in increased costs, and sometimes must be discarded because their "active" properties have been lost. Manufacturers of protein drugs will generally add substances known as excipients, like polyethylene glycol, to the proteins to prolong their activity.

In a new study published in the Journal of the American Society of Chemistry, investigators from the UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA (CNSI) describe how they synthesized polymers to attach to proteins in order to stabilize them during shipping, storage and other activities. The study findings suggest that these polymers could be useful in stabilizing protein formulations.

The polymers consist of a polystyrene backbone and side chains of trehalose, a disaccharide found various plants and animals that can live for long periods with very little or no water. An example many people will recognize is Sea- Monkeys -- the 'novelty aquarium pet' introduced in 1962. Sea-Monkeys can be purchased as kits that contain a white powder; when water is added, the powder becomes small shrimp whose long tails are said to resemble those of monkeys.

Trehalose is known to stabilize proteins when water is removed, and as a result, it is an additive in several protein drug formulations approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat cancer and other conditions.

"Our polymers were synthesized by a controlled radical polymerization technique called reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization in order to have end groups that can attach to proteins to form what is called a protein-polymer conjugate," said Heather Maynard, a UCLA associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry and a member of the CNSI. "We found that the polymers significantly stabilized the protein we used -- lysozyme -- better to lyophilization (freeze-drying, in which water is removed from the protein) and to heat than did the protein with no additives."

The research team found that attaching the polymer covalently to the protein -- that is, forming a protein-polymer conjugate -- stabilized the protein to lyophilization better than adding the non-conjugated polymer at the same concentration.

The team also found that the polymers stabilized lysozyme significantly better than the currently used excipients trehalose and polyethylene glycol, depending on the stress and conditions used.

The Maynard research group is currently exploring the use of their polymer as a stabilizer by attaching it or adding it to FDA-approved protein therapeutics. In addition, they are investigating the mechanism of how the polymer stabilizes proteins.

The research team included Rock J. Mancini and Juneyoung Lee, both graduate students of chemistry and biochemistry in the Maynard research group.

The research is supported by the National Science Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Los Angeles. The original article was written by Jennifer Marcus. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Rock J. Mancini, Juneyoung Lee, Heather D. Maynard. Trehalose Glycopolymers for Stabilization of Protein Conjugates to Environmental Stressors. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2012; 120514162059005 DOI: 10.1021/ja2120234

Cite This Page:

University of California - Los Angeles. "Method to strengthen proteins with polymers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 May 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120521164104.htm>.
University of California - Los Angeles. (2012, May 21). Method to strengthen proteins with polymers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120521164104.htm
University of California - Los Angeles. "Method to strengthen proteins with polymers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120521164104.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

AP (July 24, 2014) Mobile phone companies and communities across the country are going to new lengths to disguise those unsightly cellphone towers. From a church bell tower to a flagpole, even a pencil, some towers are trying to make a point. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

TheStreet (July 23, 2014) When The Deal's Amanda Levin exclusively reported that Gas Natural had been talking to potential suitors, the Ohio company responded with a flat denial, claiming its board had not talked to anyone about a possible sale. Lo and behold, Canadian utility Algonquin Power and Utilities not only had approached the company, but it did it three times. Its last offer was for $13 per share as Gas Natural's was trading at a 60-day moving average of about $12.50 per share. Now Algonquin, which has a 4.9% stake in Gas Natural, has taken its case to shareholders, calling on them to back its proposals or, possibly, a change in the target's board. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

AP (July 23, 2014) 'Ray' the robotic parking valet at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany lets travelers to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot before heading to the check-in desk. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) Commercial aircraft deliveries rose seven percent at Boeing, prompting the aerospace company to boost full-year profit guidance- though quarterly revenues missed analyst estimates. Bobbi Rebell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins