Microcalorimetric studies of the effects on the interactions of human recombinant interferon-α2a

Shir Ly Huang*, Fu Yung Lin, Chih Ping Yang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The applicability of the physical stability of protein solution monitored by isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) was evaluated. The second virial coefficient, b2, derived from the dilution enthalpies of protein solution measured by ITC under various experimental conditions was studied. The protein applied in this work is human recombinant interferon-α2a (hrIFN-α2a), which is a commercial drug applied for the treatment of virus-infected diseases. The results obtained were used to predict the possibility of hrIFN-α2a aggregation, and the prediction can be further confirmed by size-exclusion chromatography (SEC). Various factors affecting the stability of protein solution were investigated, for example, temperature, salts, surfactants, and mechanical stress. Specifically, the results show that the dilution enthalpy of hrIFN-α2a increased with increasing temperature and NaCl concentration, while b2 decreased, indicating that the attraction between hrIFN-α2a molecules was enhanced under these conditions. On studying the effect of mechanical stress, the data obtained reveals that the introduction of centrifugal or vortex force strengthened the attractive forces between hrIFN-α2a molecules. These implications were supported by SEC data, demonstrating that the amount of aggregated hrIFN-α2a was increased. As a consequence, the methodologies presented in this investigation offer a possibility of monitoring the physical stability of protein solution at various stages of recovery, purification as well as the development of appropriate drug storage formulations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)545-552
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 2005


  • Aggregation
  • Dilution enthalpy
  • Interferon
  • Isothermal titration calorimetry
  • ITC
  • Protein
  • SEC
  • Second virial coefficient
  • Size-exclusion chromatography
  • Stability


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