The blood half-life of a protein is prolonged by conjugating a protein with a linear amphiphilic polymer, monomethoxypolyethylene glycol (mPEG). The conjugation gives a protein immunotolerogenicity; hence, it is likely that the long half-life is crucial for the tolerogenicity. We prepared a tolerogenic mPEG conjugate of hen egg lysozyme (mPEG1.5-HEL), which is conjugated 1.5-fold the molecular weight of mPEG against that of HEL, and evaluated the relationship between in vivo stability and the tolerogenicity. mPEG1.5-HEL retained immunogenicity to prime HEL-specific T cell and antibody responses and had a long blood half-life, more than 27 times that of native HEL. The tolerant state was maintained as long as mPEG1.5-HEL was detected in sera. With a decrease in the blood mPEG1.5-HEL level, the tolerant state returned gradually to the responsive state; however, reinjection of mPEG1.5-HEL again restored the tolerance. Thus, the extended blood half-life of HEL by mPEG conjugation is probably vital for establishing and maintaining the tolerant states.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Medicine
- Molecular Biology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Cell Biology