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Pharm Res. 1996 Jul;13(7):996-1002.

Characterization and stability of N-terminally PEGylated rhG-CSF.

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Department of Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery, Amgen Incorporated, Thousand Oaks, California 91320, USA.



The liquid stability of rhG-CSF was investigated after polyethylene glycol (PEG) with an average molecular weight of 6000 daltons was covalently attached to the N-terminal methionine residue.


The conjugation methods chosen for modifying the N-terminal residue were alkylation and acylation. The N-terminally PEGylated rhG-CSF conjugates were purified by cation exchange chromatography. The physical characterization methods of SDS-PAGE, endoproteinase peptide mapping, circular dichroism and in-vivo bioassay were used to test for differences between the PEG-rhG-CSF molecules.


Physical characterization indicated no apparent differences in the rhG-CSF molecules that were conjugated with either method. Stability, in liquid at elevated temperatures, of these conjugated molecules indicated that the primary pathway of degradation was aggregation. Conjugation through alkylation offered the distinct advantage of decreasing, by approximately 5 times, the amount of aggregation present as compared to acylation.


We suggest, that the increased stability observed for the molecules utilizing the alkylation conjugation method may be due to the preservation of charge on the alpha amino group of rhG-CSF.

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