Single-step conjugation of bioactive peptides to proteins via a self-contained succinimidyl bis-arylhydrazone

Joy A. Phillips, Edward L. Morgan, Yuxiang Dong, Garry T. Cole, Cody McMahan, Chiung Yu Hung, Sam D. Sanderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


This paper describes a method for a single-step, site-specific conjugation of bioactive peptides to proteins that exploits the monitoring advantages provided by the unique UV signature absorbance of a bis-arylhydrazone. The utility of this method is demonstrated by the conjugation of a decapeptide molecular adjuvant, YSFKDMP(MeL)aR (EP67), to two test proteins, ovalbumin (OVA) and bovine serum albumin (BSA), and to proteins expressed on intact influenza virons and fungal arthroconidia (spores) of Coccidioides. Conjugation is accomplished with a version of EP67 in which its N-terminus is modified with succinimidyl-4-benzoylhydrazino-nicotinamide (S4BHyNic) (peptide 7), thus enabling conjugation to these large entities via formation of amide bonds with surface-exposed amino groups. The presence of the strongly absorbing bis-arylhydrazone S4BHyNic (ε354 nm = 29 000 L mol-1 cm-1) allows for determination of EP67-to-protein molar substitution ratios (MSR), which are in good agreement with the MSRs determined by amino acid analysis. Conjugation to OVA does not compromise the ability of EP67 to engage C5a receptor bearing antigen presenting cells (APC) as measured by the EP67-mediated release of interleukin-6 (IL-6) from APCs. Mice immunized with the resulting OVA-EP67 vaccine conjugate produce high serum titers of OVA-specific IgG antibodies relative to OVA alone. Also, the conjugation of EP67 does not affect the surface integrity of influenza virons or the biological viability of Coccidioides spores. This method of conjugating bioactive peptides to proteins and other large biological entities may represent a convenient and effective way of generating various bioconjugates for use in mechanistic studies or novel therapeutic entities such as EP67-containing vaccines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1950-1957
Number of pages8
JournalBioconjugate Chemistry
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 21 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Organic Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Single-step conjugation of bioactive peptides to proteins via a self-contained succinimidyl bis-arylhydrazone'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this