During the development of proteins for use as biologics, the primary structure (amino acid sequence) is important in defining protein activity. Due to the complex nature of protein drugs, it is important to characterize the protein’s higher-order structure (HOS) to understand its stability, folding, structure, and functional activity.

Protein structure can be characterized into different levels:

  • Primary Order Structure
    The sequence of amino acids in the polypeptide chain. The primary sequence of a protein defines its structure and function.
  • Secondary Order Structure
    This includes the localized structures within the protein backbone. The most common types of secondary structures are the α helix and the β pleated sheet, held in place by hydrogen bonds.
  • Tertiary Order Structure
    The three-dimensional shape of a protein.
  • Quaternary Order Structure
    This is the structure of a multi-protein complex such as a dimer or trimer.

Secondary, tertiary and quaternary structure is often collectively termed as the higher order structure (HOS) of a protein. HOS is responsible for the correct folding and three-dimensional shape of a biologic drug. This can be affected by different formulations, which in turn can affect protein activity. The folding and shape of the protein impacts directly on the functionality of the protein drug.

Is Higher Order Structure right for my application? 

Incorrect higher order structure can also raise safety issues - if the overall folding and therefore 3D shape of a protein is incorrect, immunogenic epitopes can be exposed and protein aggregation can occur. HOS characterization is a critical component of biologics development and should be performed alongside functional analysis and primary structure characterization to allow a full understanding of the overall protein structure.

HOS is characterized by a variety of our biophysical solutions including:

  • Mass spectrometry (MS)
  • Circular dichroism (CD)
  • Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR)
  • Raman spectroscopy
  • X-ray crystallography
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)
  • Near-UV CD
  • Size exclusion HPLC, and SEC-MALS
  • Fluorescence
  • Static and dynamic light scattering (SLS and DLS)
  • Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC)
  • Analytical ultracentrifugation (AUC)

With complimentary and orthogonal techniques, HOS data can be used to make decisions as to which drugs to move forward within development, how to formulate the drugs, and/or as quality control and biocomparability studies.

What Higher Order Structure (HOS) solutions do Malvern Panalytical Offer?  

Several instruments in our characterization toolbox are used in HOS characterization of biologics, including: MicroCal PEAQ DSC and PEAQ-DSC Automated systems, the Zetasizer series of light scattering instruments, and OMNISEC for size-exclusion chromatography (SEC) including SEC-MALS.

MicroCal PEAQ-DSC

MicroCal PEAQ-DSC Automated

凝胶渗透色谱仪OMNISEC系统

Zetasizer Advance 系列

MicroCal PEAQ-DSC MicroCal PEAQ-DSC Automated 凝胶渗透色谱仪OMNISEC系统 Zetasizer Advance 系列

适用于研究应用的蛋白质稳定性分析金标准

适用于监管环境的蛋白质稳定性分析金标准

全球领先的多检测器 GPC/SEC 系统

广泛适用的光散射技术

更多细节 更多细节 更多细节 更多细节
技术类型
差示扫描量热法 (DSC)
Size Exclusion Chromatography (SEC)
凝胶渗透色谱法
动态光散射
电泳光散射法
Non-Invasive Back-Scatter (NIBS)
Multi-Angle Dynamic Light Scattering (MADLS)
使用差示扫描量热法的生物技术药物稳定性表征

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