Synthesis of Stable Cholesteryl−Polyethylene Glycol−Peptide Conjugates with Non-Disperse Polyethylene Glycol Lengths, published in ACS Omega 2020, 5, 5508−5519
A method for conjugating cholesterol to peptide ligands through non-disperse polyethylene glycol (ND-PEG) through a non-hydrolysable linkage is described. The iterative addition of tetraethylene glycol macrocyclic sulfate to cholesterol (Chol) renders a family of highly pure well-defined Chol-PEG compounds with different PEG lengths from 4 up to 20 ethylene oxide units, stably linked through an ether bond. The conjugation of these Chol-PEG compounds to the cyclic (RGDfK) peptide though Lys5 side chains generates different lengths of Chol-PEG-RGD conjugates that retain the oligomer purity of the precursors, as analysis by HRMS and NMR has shown. Other derivatives were synthesized with similar results, such as Chol-PEG-OCH3 and Chol-PEG conjugated to glutathione and Tf1 peptides through maleimide−thiol chemoselective ligation. This method allows the systematic synthesis of highly pure uniform stable Chol-PEGs, circumventing the use of activation groups on each elongation step and thus reducing the number of synthesis steps.