Effects of PEG size on structure, function and stability of PEGylated BSA

Bitten Plesner, Conan J. Fee, Peter Westh, Anders D. Nielsen

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


The effects of PEGylation on the structural, thermal and functional stability of bovine serum albumin (BSA) were investigated using BSA and 6 linear mono-PEGylated BSA compounds. The secondary and tertiary structure of BSA measured by circular dichroism (CD) was independent of PEGylation. In contrast, the thermal stability of BSA was affected by PEGylation. The apparent unfolding temperature Tmax measured by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) decreased with PEGylation, whereas the temperature of aggregation, Tagg, measured by dynamic light scattering (DLS) increased with PEGylation. The unfolding temperature and the temperature of aggregation were both independent of the molecular weight of the PEG chain. Possible functional changes of BSA after PEGylation were measured by Isothermal Titration Calorimetry (ITC), where the binding of sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS) to BSA and PEGylated BSA was analysed. At 25 °C, two distinct classes of binding sites (high affinity and low affinity) for BSA and one class of binding site (low affinity) for PEGylated BSA were identified. The binding isotherm was modelled assuming independence and thermodynamic equivalence of the sites within each class. From the present biophysical characterisation, it is concluded that after PEGylation BSA appears to be unaffected structurally (secondary and tertiary structure), slightly destabilised thermally (unfolding temperature), stabilised kinetically (temperature of aggregation) and has an altered functionality (binding profile). These biophysical characteristics are all independent of the molecular weight of the attached polymer chain.
TidsskriftEuropean Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)399-405
StatusUdgivet - 2011


  • PEGylation
  • Protein stability
  • Protein aggregation
  • Calorimetry
  • Dynamic light scattering
  • Circular dichorism

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