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Glycoconj J. 2016 Apr;33(2):201-8. doi: 10.1007/s10719-016-9657-3. Epub 2016 Mar 7.

Additional N-glycosylation in the N-terminal region of recombinant human alpha-1 antitrypsin enhances the circulatory half-life in Sprague-Dawley rats.

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Alteogen Inc., 62, Yuseong-daero 1628 beon-gil, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon, 34054, South Korea.
Department of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology, Hannam University, Daejeon, 34054, South Korea.
Alteogen Inc., 62, Yuseong-daero 1628 beon-gil, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon, 34054, South Korea.


Glycosylation affects the circulatory half-lives of therapeutic proteins. However, the effects of an additional N-glycosylation in the unstructured region or the loop region of alpha-1 antitrypsin (A1AT) on the circulatory half-life of the protein are largely unknown. In this study, we investigated the role of an additional N-glycosylation site (Q4N/D6T, Q9N, D12N/S14T, A70N, G148T, R178N, or V212N) to the three naturally occurring N-glycosylation sites in human A1AT. A single-dose (445 μg/kg) pharmacokinetic study using male Sprague-Dawley rats showed that, among the seven recombinant A1AT (rA1AT) mutants, Q9N and D12N/S14T showed the highest serum concentration and area under the curve values, as well as similar circulatory half-lives that were 2.2-fold higher than plasma-derived A1AT and 1.7-fold higher than wild-type rA1AT. We further characterized the Q9N mutant regarding the N-glycan profile, sialic acid content, protease inhibitory activity, and protein stability. The results indicate that an additional N-glycosylation in the flexible N-terminal region increases the circulatory half-life of rA1AT without altering its protease inhibitory activity. Our study provides novel insight into the use of rA1AT for the treatment of emphysema with an increased injection interval relative to the clinically used plasma-derived A1AT.


Alpha 1-antitrypsin; Circulatory half-life; N-glycosylation

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