Arginine and lysine reduce the high viscosity of serum albumin solutions for pharmaceutical injection
Therapeutic protein solutions for subcutaneous injection must be very highly concentrated, which increases their viscosity through protein–protein interactions. However, maintaining a solution viscosity below 50 cP is important for the preparation and injection of therapeutic protein solutions. In this study, we examined the effect of various amino acids on the solution viscosity of very highly concentrated bovine serum albumin (BSA) and human serum albumin (HSA) at a physiological pH. Among the amino acids tested, l-arginine hydrochloride (ArgHCl) and l-lysine hydrochloride (LysHCl) (50–200 mM) successfully reduced the viscosity of both BSA and HSA solutions; guanidine hydrochloride (GdnHCl), NaCl, and other sodium salts were equally as effective, indicating the electrostatic shielding effect of these additives. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy showed that BSA is in its native state even in the presence of ArgHCl, LysHCl, and NaCl at high protein concentrations. These results indicate that weakened protein–protein interactions play a key role in reducing solution viscosity. ArgHCl and LysHCl, which are also non-toxic compounds, will be used as additives to reduce the solution viscosity of concentrated therapeutic proteins.
Journal: Journal of Bioscience and Bioengineering - Volume 117, Issue 5, May 2014, Pages 539–543