Interferon α (IFN α) subtypes are important protein drugs that have been used to treat infectious diseases and cancers. Here, we studied the reactivity of IFN α-2b to microbial transglutaminase (TGase) with the aim of obtaining a site-specific conjugation of this protein drug. Interestingly, TGase allowed the production of two monoderivatized isomers of IFN with high yields. Characterization by mass spectrometry of the two conjugates indicated that they are exclusively modified at the level of Gln101 if the protein is reacted in the presence of an amino-containing ligand (i.e., dansylcadaverine) or at the level of Lys164 if a glutamine-containing molecule is used (i.e., carbobenzoxy-l-glutaminyl-glycine, ZQG). We explained the extraordinary specificity of the TGase-mediated reaction on the basis of the conformational features of IFN. Indeed, among the 10 Lys and 12 Gln residues of the protein, only Gln101 and Lys164 are located in highly flexible protein regions. The TGase-mediated derivatization of IFN was then applied to the production of IFN derivatives conjugated to a 20 kDa polyethylene glycol (PEG), using PEG-NH2 for Gln101 derivatization and PEG modified with ZQG for Lys164 derivatization. The two mono-PEGylated isomers of IFN were obtained in good yields, purified, and characterized in terms of protein conformation, antiviral activity, and pharmacokinetics. Both conjugates maintained a native-like secondary structure, as indicated by far-UV circular dichroism spectra. Importantly, they disclosed good in vitro antiviral activity retention (about only 1.6- to 1.8-fold lower than that of IFN) and half-lives longer (about 5-fold) than that of IFN after intravenous administration to rats. Overall, these results provide evidence that TGase can be used for the development of site-specific derivatives of IFN α-2b possessing interesting antiviral and pharmacokinetic properties.

Site-Specific Transglutaminase-Mediated Conjugation of Interferon α-2b at Glutamine or Lysine Residues

SPOLAORE, BARBARA;RABONI, SAMANTA;SATWEKAR, ABHIJEET AJIT;GRIGOLETTO, ANTONELLA;MERO, ANNA;MONTAGNER, ISABELLA MONIA;ROSATO, ANTONIO;PASUT, GIANFRANCO;FONTANA, ANGELO
2016

Abstract

Interferon α (IFN α) subtypes are important protein drugs that have been used to treat infectious diseases and cancers. Here, we studied the reactivity of IFN α-2b to microbial transglutaminase (TGase) with the aim of obtaining a site-specific conjugation of this protein drug. Interestingly, TGase allowed the production of two monoderivatized isomers of IFN with high yields. Characterization by mass spectrometry of the two conjugates indicated that they are exclusively modified at the level of Gln101 if the protein is reacted in the presence of an amino-containing ligand (i.e., dansylcadaverine) or at the level of Lys164 if a glutamine-containing molecule is used (i.e., carbobenzoxy-l-glutaminyl-glycine, ZQG). We explained the extraordinary specificity of the TGase-mediated reaction on the basis of the conformational features of IFN. Indeed, among the 10 Lys and 12 Gln residues of the protein, only Gln101 and Lys164 are located in highly flexible protein regions. The TGase-mediated derivatization of IFN was then applied to the production of IFN derivatives conjugated to a 20 kDa polyethylene glycol (PEG), using PEG-NH2 for Gln101 derivatization and PEG modified with ZQG for Lys164 derivatization. The two mono-PEGylated isomers of IFN were obtained in good yields, purified, and characterized in terms of protein conformation, antiviral activity, and pharmacokinetics. Both conjugates maintained a native-like secondary structure, as indicated by far-UV circular dichroism spectra. Importantly, they disclosed good in vitro antiviral activity retention (about only 1.6- to 1.8-fold lower than that of IFN) and half-lives longer (about 5-fold) than that of IFN after intravenous administration to rats. Overall, these results provide evidence that TGase can be used for the development of site-specific derivatives of IFN α-2b possessing interesting antiviral and pharmacokinetic properties.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/3217145
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