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Protein Sci. 1993 Sep; 2(9): 1441–1451.
PMCID: PMC2142457

Recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEPO): cross-linking with disuccinimidyl esters and identification of the interfacing domains in EPO.


Several amino groups of recombinant human erythropoietin are selectively cross-linked by specific cross-linkers including disuccinimidyl suberate or dithiobis(succinimidyl propionate). Intramolecular cross-linkings are obtained without significant change of the protein conformation using appropriate concentrations (0.2 mM) of the cross-linkers, which possess an 11-12-A length of a spacer between two reacting groups. Intramolecularly cross-linked peptides obtained suggest that several amino groups in erythropoietin (EPO) are positioned at a distance of near 12 A in the solution state. These interfacing amino groups include Lys 20-Lys 154, Lys 45-Lys 140, Lys 52-Lys 154, Lys 52-Lys 140, and Ala 1-Lys 116. A comparison of the cross-linking results between nonglycosylated EPO and glycosylated EPO suggests that both proteins retain high similarity regarding protein conformation. These results fit a structural model similar to that of human growth hormone, in which four alpha-helical bundles and a long stretch of beta-sheet structure are involved in the active protein.

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Selected References

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