Aim: To assess the merits of polyethylene glycol-modified recombinant human tumor necrosis factor alpha (PEG-rHuTNF-alpha).
Methods: The rHuTNF-alpha was modified with N-succinimidyl succinate monomethoxy polyethylene glycol (SS-PEG) of three different molecular weights. The PEG-rHuTNF-alpha was separated into fractions of various molecular weights by gel filtration chromatography. In vitro activities of various fractions were determined with L929 cell assay and in vivo anti-tumor potencies of main fractions were studied with respect to necrosis of S-180 solid tumor.
Results: The rHuTNF-alpha could be modified using SS-PEG under mild conditions. The main fraction of PEG5000-rHuTNF-alpha contained four PEG molecules, and PEG12000-rHuTNF-alpha and PEG20000-rHuTNF-alpha contained two PEG molecules, respectively. There was a higher activity when rHuTNF-alpha was coupled to less numbers of the same molecular weight PEG molecules. When PEG-rHuTNF-alpha was of the same molecular weight, rHuTNF-alpha modified with bigger molecular weight PEG molecules had a higher activity. PEG-rHuTNF-alpha was resistant to proteolysis, and over 70 % activity remained after 8 h, but the activity of rHuTNF-alpha was time-dependently diminished by incubation with bovine trypsin. PEG5000-rHuTNF-alpha (1500 IU per mouse) had a similar anti-tumor potency compared with rHuTNF-alpha (3000 IU per mouse). PEG12000-rHuT NF-alpha (1500 IU per mouse) had an increased anti-tumor potency compared with rHuTNF-alpha (3000 IU per mouse). In particular, PEG20000-rHuTNF-alpha at a dose of 1500 IU per mouse had a higher anti-tumor potency than rHuTNF-alpha at a dose of 6000 IU per mouse.
Conclusion: PEG-modified rHuTNF-alpha could be more suitable for therapeutic use