Polyethylene glycosylation prolongs the circulatory stability of recombinant human butyrylcholinesterase

N Chilukuri, K Parikh, W Sun, R Naik, P Tipparaju, B P Doctor, A Saxena
Chemico-biological Interactions 2005 December 15, 157: 115-21
Previous studies in rodents and non-human primates have demonstrated that pretreatment of animals with cholinesterases could provide significant protection against organophosphate (OP) nerve agent toxicity. Gene delivery/therapy is emerging as an approach to achieve high-level expression of proteins in vivo that are very similar to their native counterparts. Recently, adenoviral (Ad) vectors have proven to be excellent vehicles for delivering genes to cells in vitro and in vivo. In this study, we explored the use of the newly designed AdenoVATOR system for the expression of recombinant human butyrylcholinesterase (rHu BChE) in human embryonic kidney 293A (HEK-293A) cells. In these cells, rHu BChE was expressed as mostly tetrameric form by the simultaneous expression of proline-rich attachment domain. By optimizing the culture conditions, 1.5-2.0 U/ml of rHu BChE could be expressed in HEK-293A cells. Recombinant Hu BChE was purified to homogeneity by ammonium sulfate fractionation followed by affinity column chromatography using procainamide Sepharose and cobalt Sepharose gels. The enzymatic and physico-chemical properties of purified rHu BChE were similar to those of native serum-derived Hu BChE. To determine the suitability of this preparation for use as an antidote against highly toxic nerve agents, its pharmacokinetics were evaluated in mice. Recombinant Hu BChE exhibited a mean residence time of 18.3 h which was 2.5-fold shorter than that observed for native Hu BChE in mice. However, rHu BChE chemically modified with polyethyleneglycol (PEG) displayed a mean residence time of 36.2 h suggesting that PEG-modification can prolong the circulatory stability of rHu BChE. The efficacy of Ad-Hu BChE to induce the production of therapeutic levels of bioscavenger in vivo is under evaluation.

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