Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Better way to purify peptide-based drugs by adding atoms to the mix

Date:
February 18, 2014
Source:
Michigan Technological University
Summary:
During the production of peptide drugs, amino acids attach to each other in chains, but some of the chains are never completed. To separate these truncated peptides from the good ones, a team of researchers adds a polymerizable group of atoms to the mix. These atoms bind to either the perfect peptides or the unfinished ones, but not to both. The polymerized peptides become insoluble and precipitate out of the solution.

Members of Shiyue Fang's research team in his lab at Michigan Tech, where they developed a better process to purify peptides and other biomolecules.
Credit: Image courtesy of Michigan Technological University

Peptides are an intriguing class of drugs. They are made of amino acids, just as humans are, and because of their intimate relationship with our own biological molecules, they have the potential to fight some of the most intractable diseases, including cancer.

But they can be difficult and expensive to make. A year's worth of the anti-HIV peptide drug enfuvirtide costs $25,000. Now a chemist at Michigan Technological University has overcome an important hurdle in the manufacturing process by developing a quicker, simpler purification method. As a bonus, his technique also works on DNA.

The new technology separates perfect peptides from those that do not make the grade, says Shiyue Fang. During production, amino acids attach to each other in chains to form the desired peptide, but some of the chains are never completed. To separate these truncated peptides, Fang's team adds a polymerizable group of atoms to the mix.

These atoms bind to either the perfect peptides or the unfinished ones, but not to both. The polymerized peptides become insoluble and precipitate out of the solution. "Just take the solution out, and the peptides are separated," said Fang.

The method works in about two hours, much faster than a similar process Fang developed a few years ago. And it works equally well for DNA sequences.

The process has other advantages. It is cheaper and requires less labor than existing peptide purification methods, it can handle large batches of peptides at a time, and it generates less waste. "Other methods use a large amount of organic solvents, with a waste-to-product ratio of about 1,000:1. Our waste-to-product ratio is 50:1, maximum," said Fang. "And it takes less time."

Fang has been issued a patent for his discovery and is exploring its commercial potential. "I'm excited about the progress we've made," he said. "Peptide drugs are used to fight cancer, inflammation, diseases of the central nervous system, viral diseases like HIV. . . This gives us a chance to make a difference in people's lives."

An article on the research, "Purification of Synthetic Peptides Using a Catching Full-Length Sequence by Polymerization Approach," coauthored by Fang, postdoctoral fellow Mingcui Zhang and graduate student Durga Pokharel, was published online in the journal Organic Letters.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Michigan Technological University. The original article was written by Marcia Goodrich. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Mingcui Zhang, Durga Pokharel, Shiyue Fang. Purification of Synthetic Peptides Using a Catching Full-Length Sequence by Polymerization Approach. Organic Letters, 2014; 140214115100000 DOI: 10.1021/ol403426u

Cite This Page:

Michigan Technological University. "Better way to purify peptide-based drugs by adding atoms to the mix." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140218114233.htm>.
Michigan Technological University. (2014, February 18). Better way to purify peptide-based drugs by adding atoms to the mix. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140218114233.htm
Michigan Technological University. "Better way to purify peptide-based drugs by adding atoms to the mix." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140218114233.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A U.S. doctor has tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus, as the worst-ever outbreak continues to grow. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
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