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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1979 May 23;578(1):47-53.

Preparation of a non-immunogenic arginase by the covalent attachment of polyethylene glycol.


Methoxypolyethylene glycol of 5000 daltons (PEG) was attached covalently to bovine liver arginase using 2,4,6-trichloro-s-triazine as the coupling agent. The conjugate (PEG-arginase), with PEG attached to 53% of the amino groups, retained 65% of its original enzymatic activity. Mice were injected intravenously with arginase or PEG-arginase for periods of one to three months. The blood-circulating life of PEG-arginase was greatly extended over that of arginase. The half-life of injected arginase at day 30 was less than 1 h, whereas that of the PEG-enzyme was 12 h. Antisera from mice injected with native arginase reacted against arginase but not against PEG-arginase when tested by immunodiffusion. Antisera from animals injected with PEG-arginase reacted neither with native arginase nor PEG-arginase. The data indicate that arginase modified by PEG has been rendered both non-immunogenic and non-antigenic when tested in mice. The injection of PEG-arginase into mice did not induce tolerance toward the native enzyme. Injected PEG-arginase, in the presence of precipitating antibody directed against native arginase, circulated at the same level as in virgin animals. The attachment of PEG to arginase altered its kinetic properties.

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