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Characterization of Affitin proteolytic digestion in biorelevant media and improvement of their stabilities via protein engineering

Abstract : Affitins are a novel class of small 7 kDa artificial proteins which can be used as antibody substitutes in therapeutic, diagnostic and biotechnological applications. One challenge for this type of protein agent is their behaviour in the context of oral administration. The digestive system is central, and biorelevant media have fast emerged as relevant and reliable tools for evaluating the bioavailability of drugs. This study describes, for the first time, the stability of Affitins under simulated gastric and intestinal digestion conditions. Affitins appear to be degraded into stable fragments in in vitro gastric medium. We identified cleavage sites generated by pepsin that were silenced by site-directed mutagenesis. This protein engineering allowed us to enhance Affitin properties. We showed that a mutant M1 containing a double mutation of amino acid residues 6 and 7 in H4 and C3 Affitins acquired a resistance against proteolytic digestion. In addition, these mutations were beneficial for target affinity, as well as for production yield. Finally, we found that the mutated residues kept or increased the important pH and temperature stabilities of Affitins. These improvements are particularly sought after in the development of engineered binding proteins for research tools, preclinical studies and clinical applications.
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https://www.hal.inserm.fr/inserm-03007124
Contributor : Axelle Renodon-Cornière <>
Submitted on : Monday, November 16, 2020 - 11:28:02 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, February 18, 2021 - 2:21:32 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Wednesday, February 17, 2021 - 6:46:41 PM

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Aurélie Loussouarn, Ghislaine Béhar, Frédéric Pecorari, Mikael Croyal, Axelle Renodon-Cornière. Characterization of Affitin proteolytic digestion in biorelevant media and improvement of their stabilities via protein engineering. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2020, 10 (1), pp.1-13. ⟨10.1038/s41598-020-76855-z⟩. ⟨inserm-03007124⟩

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