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Ramberg, Keifer O.;Antonik, Pavel M.;Cheung, David L.;Crowley, Peter B.
Bioconjugate Chemistry
Measuring the Impact of PEGylation on a Protein–Polysaccharide Interaction
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PEGylation is the most widely used half-life extension strategy for protein therapeutics. While it imparts a range of attractive attributes PEGylation can impede protein binding and reduce efficacy. A model system to probe the effects of PEGylation on protein binding has practical applications. Here, we present a system based on complex formation between a hexavalent lectin (RSL) and the globular polysaccharide Ficoll PM70 (a type of glycocluster). Mutants of the lectin were used to generate conjugates with 3, 6, or 12 PEG (1 kDa) chains. Using NMR spectroscopy we monitored how the degree of PEGylation impacted the lectin–Ficoll interaction. The binding propensity was observed to decrease with increasing polymer density. Apparently, the extended PEG chains sterically impede the lectin–Ficoll binding. This deduction was supported by molecular dynamics simulations of the protein–polymer conjugates. The implications for protein–surface interactions are discussed.
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