Isothermal denaturation fluorimetry vs differential scanning fluorimetry as tools for screening of stabilizers for protein freeze-drying: Human phenylalanine hydroxylase as the case study

Paula Leandro, Paulo R. Lino, Raquel Lopes, João Leandro, Mariana P. Amaro, Paulo Sousa, João B. Vicente, António J. Almeida

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Abstract

The structural maintenance of therapeutic proteins during formulation and/or storage is a critical aspect, particularly for multi-domain and/or multimeric proteins which usually exhibit intrinsic structural dynamics leading to aggregation with concomitant loss-of-function. Protein freeze-drying is a widely used technique to preserve protein structure and function during storage. To minimize chemical/physical stresses occurring during this process, protein stabilizers are usually included, their effect being strongly dependent on the target protein. Therefore, they should be screened for on a time-consuming case-by-case basis. Herein, differential scanning fluorimetry (DSF) and isothermal denaturation fluorimetry (ITDF) were employed to screen, among different classes of freeze-drying additives, for the most effective stabilizer of the model protein human phenylalanine hydroxylase (hPAH). Correlation studies among retrieved DSF and ITDF parameters with recovered enzyme amount and activity indicated ITDF as the most appropriate screening method. Biochemical and biophysical characterization of hPAH freeze-dried with ITDF-selected stabilizers and a long-term storage study (12 months, 5 ± 3 °C) showed that the selected compounds prevented protein aggregation and preserved hPAH structural and functional properties throughout time storage. Our results provide a solid basis towards the choice of ITDF as a high-throughput screening step for the identification of protein freeze-drying protectors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics
Volume187
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023

Keywords

  • Cryoprotectants
  • Differential scanning fluorimetry
  • Enzyme replacement therapy
  • Human phenylalanine hydroxylase
  • Isothermal denaturation fluorimetry
  • Lyoprotectants
  • Protein formulation
  • Protein freeze-drying

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