[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hemospan is an acellular hemoglobin-based oxygen therapeutic in clinical trials in Europe and the United States. The product is prepared by site-specific conjugation of maleimide-activated poly(ethylene) glycol (PEG, MW approximately 5500) to human oxyhemoglobin through maleimidation reactions either (1) directly to reactive Cys thiols or (2) at surface Lys groups following thiolation using 2-iminothiolane. The thiolation/maleimidation reactions lead to the addition of approximately 8 PEGs per hemoglobin tetramer. Identification of PEG modified globins by SDS-PAGE and MALDI-TOF reveals a small percentage of protein migrating at the position for unmodified globin chains and the remaining as separate bands representing globin chains conjugated with 1 to 4 PEGs per chain. Identification of PEG modification sites on individual alpha and beta globins was made using reverse-phase HPLC, showing a series of alpha globins conjugated with 0 to 3 PEGs and a series of beta globins conjugated with 0 to 4 PEGs per globin. Mass analysis of tryptic peptides from hemoglobin thiolated and maleimidated with N-ethyl maleimide showed the same potential sites of modification regardless of thiolation reaction ratio, with seven sites identified on beta globins at beta8, beta17, beta59, beta66, beta93, beta95, and beta132 and three sites identified on alpha globins at alpha7, alpha16, and alpha40.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Developing protein therapeutics has posed challenges due to short circulating times and toxicities. Recent advances using poly(ethylene) glycol (PEG) conjugation have improved their performance. A PEG-conjugated hemoglobin (Hb), Hemospan, is in clinical trials as an oxygen therapeutic. Solutions of PEG-hemoglobin with two (P5K2) or six to seven strands of 5-kD PEG (P5K6) were studied by small-angle x-ray scattering. PEGylation elongates the dimensions (Hb < P5K2 < P5K6) and leaves the tertiary hemoglobin structure unchanged but compacts its quaternary structure. The major part of the PEG chains visualized by ab initio reconstruction protrudes away from hemoglobin, whereas the rest interacts with the protein. PEGylation introduces intermolecular repulsion, increasing with conjugated PEG amount. These results demonstrate how PEG surface shielding and intermolecular repulsion may prolong intravascular retention and lack of reactivity of PEG-Hb, possibly by inhibiting binding to the macrophage CD163 hemoglobin-scavenger receptor. The proposed methodology for assessment of low-resolution structures and interactions is a powerful means for rational design of PEGylated therapeutic agents.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The delivery of oxygen to tissue by cell-free carriers eliminates intraluminal barriers associated with red blood cells. This is important in arterioles, since arteriolar tone controls capillary perfusion. We describe a mathematical model for O(2) transport by hemoglobin solutions and red blood cells flowing through arteriolar-sized tubes to optimize values of p50, Hill number, hemoglobin molecular diffusivity and concentration. Oxygen release is evaluated by including an extra-luminal resistance term to reflect tissue oxygen consumption. For low consumption (i.e., high resistance to O(2) release) a hemoglobin solution with p50=15 mmHg, n=1, D(HBO2)=3 x 10(-7) cm(2)/s delivers O(2) at a rate similar to that of red blood cells. For high consumption, the p50 must be decreased to 5 mmHg. The model predicts that regardless of size, hemoglobin solutions with higher p50 will present excess O(2) to arteriolar walls. Oversupply of O(2) to arteriolar walls may cause constriction and paradoxically reduced capillary perfusion.