A Novel Solid-Phase Site-Specific PEGylation Enhances the In Vitro and In Vivo Biostabilty of Recombinant Human Keratinocyte Growth Factor 1

>Keratinocyte growth factor 1 (KGF-1) has proven useful in the treatment of pathologies associated with dermal adnexae, liver, lung, and the gastrointestinal tract diseases. However, poor stability and short plasma half-life of the protein have restricted its therapeutic applications. While it is possible to improve the stability and extend the circulating half-life of recombinant human KGF-1 (rhKGF-1) using solution-phase PEGylation, such preparations have heterogeneous structures and often low specific activities due to multiple and/or uncontrolled PEGylation. In the present study, a novel solid-phase PEGylation strategy was employed to produce homogenous mono-PEGylated rhKGF-1. RhKGF-1 protein was immobilized on a Heparin-Sepharose column and then a site-selective PEGylation reaction was carried out by a reductive alkylation at the N-terminal amino acid of the protein. The mono-PEGylated rhKGF-1, which accounted for over 40% of the total rhKGF-1 used in the PEGylation reaction, was purified to homogeneity by SP Sepharose ion-exchange chromatography. Our biophysical and biochemical studies demonstrated that the solid-phase PEGylation significantly enhanced the in vitro and in vivo biostability without affecting the over all structure of the protein. Furthermore, pharmacokinetic analysis showed that modified rhKGF-1 had considerably longer plasma half-life than its intact counterpart. Our cell-based analysis showed that, similar to rhKGF-1, PEGylated rhKGF-1 induced proliferation in NIH 3T3 cells through the activation of MAPK/Erk pathway. Notably, PEGylated rhKGF-1 exhibited a greater hepatoprotection against CCl4-induced injury in rats compared to rhKGF-1.

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Source URL:http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0036423