2021 journal article
Engineering Next Generation Cyclized Peptide Ligands for Light-Controlled Capture and Release of Therapeutic Proteins
ADVANCED FUNCTIONAL MATERIALS, 31(27).
Abstract Photo‐affinity adsorbents (i.e., translucent matrices functionalized with ligands featuring light‐controlled biorecognition) represent a futuristic technology for purifying labile biologics. In this study, a framework for prototyping photo‐affinity adsorbents comprising azobenzene‐cyclized peptides (ACPs) conjugated to translucent porous beads (ChemMatrix) is presented. This approach combines computational and experimental tools for designing ACPs and investigating their light‐controlled isomerization kinetics and protein biorecognition. First, a modular design for tailoring ACP's conformation, facilitating sequencing, and streamlining the in silico modeling of cis/trans isomers and their differential protein binding is introduced. Then, a spectroscopic system for measuring the photo‐isomerization kinetics of ACPs on ChemMatrix beads is reported; using this device, it is demonstrated that the isomerization at different light intensities is correlated to the cyclization geometry, specifically the energy difference of trans versus cis isomers as calculated in silico. Also, a microfluidic device for sorting ACP‐ChemMatrix beads to select and validate photo‐affinity ligands using Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule 1 (VCAM‐1) as target protein and cyclo AZOB [GVHAKQHRN‐K*]‐G‐ChemMatrix as model photo‐affinity adsorbent is presented. The proposed ACPs exhibit rapid and defined light‐controlled isomerization and biorecognition. Controlling the adsorption and release of VCAM‐1 using light demonstrates the potential of photo‐affinity adsorbents for targets whose biochemical liability poses challenges to its purification.