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Peptide Oligomerization Memory Effects and Their Impact on the Physical Stability of the GLP‑1 Agonist Liraglutide

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journal contribution
posted on 16.04.2019, 00:00 by Jameson R. Bothe, Alexandra Andrews, Katelyn J. Smith, Leo A. Joyce, Yogita Krishnamachari, Sandhya Kashi
Peptides and proteins commonly have complex structural landscapes allowing for transformation into a wide array of species including oligomers, aggregates, and fibrils. The formation of undesirable forms including aggregates and fibrils poses serious risks from the perspective of drug development and disease. Liraglutide, a GLP-1 agonist for the treatment of diabetes, is a conjugated peptide that forms oligomers that can be stabilized by pH and organic solvents. We have developed an analytical toolkit to overcome challenges inherent to Liraglutide’s conjugated acyl chain and probed the impact its oligomers have on its physical stability. Our studies show that Liraglutide’s oligomer states have significant and potentially detrimental impacts on its propensity to aggregate and form fibrils as well as its potency. Liraglutide delivered as a synthetic peptide is able to maintain its oligomerization state in dried lyophilized powders, acting as a memory effect from its synthetic process and purification. Through Liraglutide’s oligomer memory effect, we demonstrate the importance and impact the process for synthetic peptides can have on drug development spanning from discovery to formulation development.