Tuning protein half-life in mouse using sequence-defined biopolymers functionalized with lipids

Koen Vanderschuren, Pol Arranz-Gibert, Minsoo Khang, Dagan Hadar, Alice Gaudin, Fan Yang, Ewa Folta-Stogniew, W Mark Saltzman, Miriam Amiram, Farren J Isaacs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The use of biologics in the treatment of numerous diseases has increased steadily over the past decade due to their high specificities, low toxicity, and limited side effects. Despite this success, peptide- and protein-based drugs are limited by short half-lives and immunogenicity. To address these challenges, we use a genomically recoded organism to produce genetically encoded elastin-like polypeptide-protein fusions containing multiple instances of p ara-azidophenylalanine (pAzF). Precise lipidation of these pAzF residues generated a set of sequence-defined synthetic biopolymers with programmable binding affinity to albumin without ablating the activity of model fusion proteins, and with tunable blood serum half-lives spanning 5 to 94% of albumin's half-life in a mouse model. Our findings present a proof of concept for the use of genetically encoded bioorthogonal conjugation sites for multisite lipidation to tune protein stability in mouse serum. This work establishes a programmable approach to extend and tune the half-life of protein or peptide therapeutics and a technical foundation to produce functionalized biopolymers endowed with programmable chemical and biophysical properties with broad applications in medicine, materials science, and biotechnology.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2103099119
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number4
StatePublished - 25 Jan 2022


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