Effect of Polymer Hydrophilicity and Molar Mass on the Properties of the Protein in Protein-Polymer Conjugates: The Case of PPEylated Myoglobin

Chiara Pelosi, Celia Duce, Frederik R. Wurm*, Maria R. Tine

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Abstract

Polyphosphoesters (PPEs), a versatile class of biodegradable and biocompatible polymers, have been proposed as alternatives to poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG), which is suspected to be responsible for anaphylactic reactions in some patients after the administration of PEGylated compounds, e.g., in the current Covid-19 vaccines. We present the synthesis and characterization of a novel set of protein-polymer conjugates using the model protein myoglobin and a set of PPEs with different hydrophilicity and molar mass. We report an extensive evaluation of the (bio)physical properties of the protein within the conjugates, studying its conformation, residual activity, and thermal stability by complementary techniques (UV-vis spectroscopy, nano-differential scanning calorimetry, and fluorometry). The data underline the systematic influence of polymer hydrophilicity on protein properties. The more hydrophobic polymers destabilize the protein, the more hydrophilic PPEs protect against thermally induced aggregation and proteolytic degradation. This basic study aims at guiding the design of future PPEylated drugs and protein conjugates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1932-1943
Number of pages12
JournalBiomacromolecules
Volume22
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2021

Keywords

  • UT-Hybrid-D

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