Institute of Biotechnology, Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, University of Cambridge, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge CB2 1QT, UK.
Numerous efforts have been devoted to develop synthetic affinity ligands mimicking natural immunoglobulin-binding proteins, such as Proteins A and L, in order to overcome intrinsic drawbacks involving their high cost and acidic pH elution. However, few reports have focused on a Protein G mimic. This work describes the use of the solid phase multi-component Ugi reaction to generate a low cost, rationally designed, affinity ligand to mimic Protein G for the purification of mammalian immunoglobulins, including the heavy-chain only camelid IgGs, with effective elution at neutral pH. An aldehyde-functionalised Sepharose™ resin constituted one component (aldehyde) of the four-component Ugi reaction, whilst the other three components (a primary or secondary amine, a carboxylic acid and an isonitrile) were varied to generate a tri-substituted Ugi scaffold, with a wide range of functionality, suitable for mimicking peptides for immunoglobulin purification. Ligand A2C11I1 was designed to mimic Asn35 and Trp43 of Protein G (PDB: 1FCC) and in silico docking into the Fc domain showed a key binding interface closely resembling native Protein G. This candidate ligand demonstrated affinity towards IgGs derived from human, cow, goat, mouse, sheep, pig, rabbit and rat serum, chicken IgY and recombinant camelid Fc domain, out of which cow and sheep IgG demonstrated 100% binding under the conditions selected. Preparative chromatography of IgG from human serum under a standardised buffer regime eluted IgG of ∼65% purity, compared to ∼62% with Protein G. This adsorbent achieved highest elution of IgG at neutral pH (0.1M sodium phosphate pH 7.0, 30%, v/v, ethylene glycol), an advantage for purifying antibodies sensitive to extremes of pH. The ligand demonstrated a static binding capacity of 24.6 mg Ig G ml⁻¹ resin and a dissociation constant (K(d)) of 4.78 × 10⁻⁶ M. The solid phase Ugi scaffold provides a strategy to develop pseudo-biospecific ligands to purify immunoglobulins and other potentially high-value biotherapeutic proteins.
Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier B.V.