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Biotechnology Based Process for Production of a Disulfide-Bridged Peptide

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journal contribution
posted on 2016-04-20, 00:00 authored by Animesh Goswami, Steven L. Goldberg, Ronald L. Hanson, Robert M. Johnston, Olav K. Lyngberg, Yeung Chan, Ehrlic Lo, Steven H. Chan, Nuria de Mas, Antonio Ramirez, Richard Doyle, Wei Ding, Mian Gao, Stanley R. Krystek, Changhong Wan, Yeoun jin Kim, Deepa Calambur, Mark Witmer, James W. Bryson
A disulfide-bridged peptide drug development candidate contained two oligopeptide chains with 11 and 12 natural amino acids joined by a disulfide bond at the N-terminal end. An efficient biotechnology based process for the production of the disulfide-bridged peptide was developed. Initially, the two individual oligopeptide chains were prepared separately by designing different fusion proteins and expressing them in recombinant E. coli. Enzymatic or chemical cleavage of the two fusion proteins provided the two individual oligopeptide chains which could be conjugated via disulfide bond by conventional chemical reaction to the disulfide-bridged peptide. A novel heterodimeric system to bring the two oligopeptide chains closer and induce disulfide bond formation was designed by taking advantage of the self-assembly of a leucine zipper system. The heterodimeric approach involved designing fusion proteins with the acidic and basic components of the leucine zipper, additional amino acids to optimize interaction between the individual chains, specific cleavage sites, specific tag to ensure separation, and two individual oligopeptide chains. Computer modeling was used to identify the nature and number of amino acid residue to be inserted between the leucine zipper and oligopeptides for optimum interaction. Cloning and expression in rec E. coli, fermentation, followed by cell disruption resulted in the formation of heterodimeric protein with the interchain disulfide bond. Separation of the desired heterodimeric protein, followed by specific cleavage at methionine by cyanogen bromide provided the disulfide-bridged peptide.