Peptides are essential components in the production of antibodies. Synthesis of peptides was one of the most challenging and tiring tasks with little yield. However, with advancements in technology, peptide production is straightforward and gives more output at a given time. Peptide production can be classified as peptide bonds between two amino acids. Peptides are usually the flexible chains found in amino acids.
With modern technology and research knowledge in the chemistry field, it’s possible to produce peptides with different designs and unique biological responses. There are other methods of peptide production, such as solid-phase. Peptides have to undergo a purification process after production. Purification helps to remove any side products that the reactions may have formed during the production process, such as the isomers. This article will look at five essential things you have to know about peptides synthesis.
Peptide bonds are essential in the whole process of peptide synthesis. Peptide bonds are covalent chemical bonds that combine at least two amino acids. Amino acids are brought together with the no-side chain through a condensation process. The reaction and the bonding result in the formation of the dipeptide. For the condensation reaction to take place, at least one amino acid has to react with the amino group of the other amino acid molecule. The response gives water as a by-product and can be a dehydration reaction. The formation of peptide bonds either organically or chemically requires a lot of energy.
Proteinogenic amino acids
Proteinogenic amino acids are essential building blocks of protein. Under exceptional circumstances, other amino acids apart from the 20 encoded by the genome are coded into proteins such as selenocysteine and pyrrolysine. All the Proteinogenic amino acids are L-amino acids apart from glycine. The L in the amino acids relates to the stereochemistry of the amino acids relative to that of L-glyceraldehyde.
Other amino acids, such as chiral amino acids, have S prefixes. Understanding the amino acids is essential as it gives a vital understanding of the best amino acids to bond to form the peptides. Amino acids are crucial and significant components in peptide synthesis. The Proteinogenic amino acid plays a vital role in protein production as they are incorporated biosynthetically into proteins during translation. They are genetically modified to form significant amino acids essential in forming peptide bonds.
Solid-Phase Peptide production method
This is one of the methods used to produce peptides. The solid-phase peptide synthesis method is applied when protected amino acid derivatives are successfully added to a growing peptide chain. The technique will include a deprotection and purification process to remove unreacted groups and side products. The capacity to synthesize high-purity peptides in large batches has transformed research and led to discovery of a wide range of effective medicinal agents and vaccines.
These applications, however, necessitate a nearly infinite number of sequence combinations, many of which comprise changed amino acids, placing high demands on synthesis optimization. Using the solid-phase peptide synthesis method is not only advantageous in the large-scale production of peptides, but it also gives yield to pure and quality peptides. The technique has been advanced technologically to make it effective and efficient when producing peptides.
For example, the purification process has been simplified from crystallization to just filtration in the last stage of the whole process. Through such advancement, solid-phase becomes the most preferred method by most researchers during peptide synthesis for both large-scale and small-scale production.
Synthesis of longer peptides
Long peptides are essential in structural analysis through x-ray crystallography and electron paramagnetic. Quantity and purity are necessary to use long peptides for any structural analysis. Amino acid sequence and synthesis strategy must be used to ensure a successful synthesis of long peptides. However, long peptide synthesis causes significant cumulative effects, which becomes a challenge to overcome. Other challenges associated with extended peptide synthesis include slow or incomplete coupling and deprotection reaction, usually associated with peptide aggregation.
However, through advanced technology such as fragment synthesis and chemical ligation technology, the unprotected amino acids can react chemo-selectively in an aqueous solution and give long peptides. These strategies and technological advancements are essential in providing quality long peptides.
The final stage of peptide synthesis is purification. The purification process is a significant stage that helps remove any side reactions or unwanted components in the final product of the peptides. The purification method applied depends on the method used in the production process and the nature of the ingredients used. For peptides purification, several methods are used, such as; flash chromatography, hydrophobic interaction, gel filtration chromatography, hydrophilic interaction chromatography, RP-HPLC chromatography, and ion-exchange chromatography.
When any of these methods is used for purification purposes, it becomes possible to obtain high-quality and pure products. Nevertheless, these methods require a lot of solvents and still give low yields. In other cases, they may require a prolonged and repeated purification process leading to an increase in the production cost. However, all peptides must undergo a purification process to ensure no impurities or compounds. Using the solid-phase method to produce peptides helps remove impurities and makes it cheaper and more efficient for peptides’ production and purification.
Peptide synthesis has become an essential process in the bioorganic chemistry field. Synthesized peptides are crucial components in any biological structure and play a significant role in developing enzyme inhibitors and other therapeutic agents. With the advancement of the solid-phase method, most researchers can now utilize synthetic peptides as it is now easy to produce quality and pure peptides on large scales.