Heather Maynard and coworkers create a polymer that stabilizes proteins to harsh environmental conditions

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Proteins are generally unstable, and as a result are usually shipped and stored at regulated temperatures, which increases costs. Heather Maynard and graduate students Rock Mancini and Juneyoung Lee synthesized a polymer to covalently attach to proteins that stabilizes the biomolecules to environmental stressors. There are a lot Food and Drug Administration approved protein-polymer conjugates that have increased lifetimes in the body compared to the unmodified proteins; however the polymers do not necessarily stabilize the protein to stress. A polymer that imparts both stability and enhanced pharmacokinetic properties would be highly advantageous, and the group is currently investigating the latter. The study is reported in the Journal of the American Chemical Society and summarized by the UCLA Newsroom.