Main content area

Branching Analysis of Multivalent Conjugates Using Size Exclusion Chromatography–Multiangle Light Scattering

Svedlund, Felicia L., Altiok, Eda I., Healy, Kevin E.
Biomacromolecules 2016 v.17 no.10 pp. 3162-3171
bioactive properties, biopolymers, chemical elements, conjugated proteins, light scattering, pharmacokinetics, refractive index
Multivalent conjugates (MVCs) (conjugation of multiple proteins to a linear polymer chain) are powerful for improving the bioactivity and pharmacokinetics of a bioactive molecule. Since this effect is highly dependent upon the valency of the conjugated proteins, it is imperative to have a technique for analysis of the conjugation ratio. Studies of MVCs have used size exclusion chromatography–multiangle light scattering (SEC-MALS), which allows for the separate and individual analysis of the protein and biopolymer components based on their specific refractive index increment and UV extinction coefficient constants to determine the number of proteins bound per biopolymer molecule. In this work, we have applied traditional branching analysis to the SEC-MALS data, with the primary assumption that the polymer backbone can be used as the linear counterpart. We demonstrated good agreement between the branching values and the valency determined by traditional analysis, demonstrating that branching analysis can be used as an alternative technique to approximate the valency of MVCs. The branching analysis method also provides a more complete picture of the distribution of the measured values, provides important branching information about the molecules, and lowers the cost and complexity of the characterization. However, since MVC molecules are both conjugate molecules and branched molecules, the most powerful approach to their characterization would be to use both traditional multivalent conjugate analysis and branching analysis in conjunction.