(56e) Site-Specific Fatty Acid Conjugation to Prolong Protein Half-Life in Vivo | AIChE

(56e) Site-Specific Fatty Acid Conjugation to Prolong Protein Half-Life in Vivo


Kwon, I. - Presenter, University of Virginia
Lim, S. I., University of Virginia
Kim, Y. H., Kwangwoon University

Therapeutic proteins often suffer short serum half-life. In order to extend the serum half-life, a natural albumin ligand (a fatty acid) has been conjugated to small therapeutic peptides resulting in a prolonged serum half-life via binding to patients’ serum albumin in vivo. However, fatty acid-conjugation has limited applicability due to lack of site-specificity resulting in the heterogeneity of conjugated proteins and a significant loss in pharmaceutical activity. In order to address these issues, we exploited the site-specific fatty acid-conjugation to a permissive site of a protein, using copper-catalyzed alkyne-azide cycloaddition, by linking a fatty acid derivative to p-ethynylphenylalanine incorporated into a protein using an engineered pair of yeast tRNA/aminoacyl tRNA synthetase. As a proof-of-concept, we show that single palmitic acid conjugated to superfolder green fluorescent protein (sfGFP) in a site-specific manner enhanced a protein’s albumin-binding in vitro about 20 times and the serum half-life in vivo 5 times when compared to those of the unmodified sfGFP. Furthermore, the fatty acid conjugation did not cause a significant reduction in the fluorescence of sfGFP. As an extension of this work, we have been investigating whether the site-specific fatty acid conjugation to one therapeutic protein can prolong its serum half-life with retained therapeutic activity. Fatty acid-conjugated therapeutic protein variants were successfully prepared with fully retained therapeutic activity. Pharmacokinetic analysis of the therapeutic protein variants are being performed.