Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


UCLA Previously Published Works bannerUCLA

Degradable PEGylated protein conjugates utilizing RAFT polymerization


Poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)-protein therapeutics exhibit enhanced pharmacokinetics, but have drawbacks including decreased protein activities and polymer accumulation in the body. Therefore a major aim for second-generation polymer therapeutics is to introduce degradability into the backbone. Herein we describe the synthesis of poly(poly(ethylene glycol methyl ether methacrylate)) (pPEGMA) degradable polymers with protein-reactive end-groups via reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization, and the subsequent covalent attachment to lysozyme through a reducible disulfide linkage. RAFT copolymerization of cyclic ketene acetal (CKA) monomer 5,6-benzo-2-methylene-1,3-dioxepane (BMDO) with PEGMA yielded two polymers with number-average molecular weight (Mn ) (GPC) of 10.9 and 20.9 kDa and molecular weight dispersities (Ð) of 1.34 and 1.71, respectively. Hydrolytic degradation of the polymers was analyzed by 1H-NMR and GPC under basic and acidic conditions. The reversible covalent attachment of these polymers to lysozyme, as well as the hydrolytic and reductive cleavage of the polymer from the protein, was analyzed by gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry. Following reductive cleavage of the polymer, an increase in activity was observed for both conjugates, with the released protein having full activity. This represents a method to prepare PEGylated proteins, where the polymer is readily cleaved from the protein and the main chain of the polymer is degradable.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View