Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UCLA researchers develop way to strengthen proteins with polymers

22.05.2012
Findings could mean good news for protein-based therapeutics

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 (DOI: 10.1021/ja2120234), 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.
The paper is available at http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ja2120234.
The California NanoSystems Institute is an integrated research facility located at UCLA and UC Santa Barbara. Its mission is to foster interdisciplinary collaborations in nanoscience and nanotechnology; to train a new generation of scientists, educators and technology leaders; to generate partnerships with industry; and to contribute to the economic development and the social well-being of California, the United States and the world. The CNSI was established in 2000 with $100 million from the state of California. The total amount of research funding in nanoscience and nanotechnology awarded to CNSI members has risen to over $900 million. UCLA CNSI members are drawn from UCLA's College of Letters and Science, the David Geffen School of Medicine, the School of Dentistry, the School of Public Health and the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science. They are engaged in measuring, modifying and manipulating atoms and molecules — the building blocks of our world. Their work is carried out in an integrated laboratory environment. This dynamic research setting has enhanced understanding of phenomena at the nanoscale and promises to produce important discoveries in health, energy, the environment and information technology.

For more news, visit the UCLA Newsroom and follow us on Twitter.

Jennifer Marcus | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucla.edu

Further reports about: CHEMISTRY CNSI NanoSystems UCLA building block polyethylene glycol

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Bacteria as pacemaker for the intestine
22.11.2017 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

nachricht Researchers identify how bacterium survives in oxygen-poor environments
22.11.2017 | Columbia University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Corporate coworking as a driver of innovation

22.11.2017 | Business and Finance

PPPL scientists deliver new high-resolution diagnostic to national laser facility

22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Quantum optics allows us to abandon expensive lasers in spectroscopy

22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>