Enhanced Peptide Stability Against Protease Digestion Induced by Intrinsic Factor Binding of a Vitamin B12 Conjugate of Exendin-4

Ron L. Bonaccorso, Oleg G. Chepurny, Christoph Becker-Pauly, George G. Holz, Robert Patrick Doyle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


Peptide digestion from proteases is a significant limitation in peptide therapeutic development. It has been hypothesized that the dietary pathway of vitamin B12 (B12) may be exploited in this area, but an open question is whether B12-peptide conjugates bound to the B12 gastric uptake protein intrinsic factor (IF) can provide any stability against proteases. Herein, we describe a new conjugate of B12 with the incretin peptide exendin 4 that demonstrates picomolar agonism of the glugacon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP1-R). Stability studies reveal that Ex-4 is digested by pancreatic proteases trypsin and chymotrypsin and by the kidney endopeptidase meprin β. Prebinding the B12 conjugate to IF, however, resulted in up to a 4-fold greater activity of the B12-Ex-4 conjugate relative to Ex-4, when the IF-B12-Ex-4 complex was exposed to 22 μg/mL of trypsin, 2.3-fold greater activity when exposed to 1.25 μg/mL of chymotrypsin, and there was no decrease in function at up to 5 μg/mL of meprin β.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3502-3506
Number of pages5
JournalMolecular Pharmaceutics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 8 2015



  • AKAR3
  • exendin-4
  • intrinsic factor
  • trypsin
  • Vitamin B<inf>12</inf>

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Drug Discovery

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