How long should I let my cleavage reaction stir at room temperature?

As the rules for cell permeability continue to be elucidated, peptides are increasingly being used to deliver either themselves or cargo to the cell’s interior.  One thing is clear, increasing the overall cationic charge of the peptide enhances it’s delivery to not only the cytoplasm, but also the nucleus or other subcellular compartments.  To achieve the positive charge, large numbers of arginine residues are most often incorporated into the peptide sequence.

This begs the question though, should I change my cleavage protocol?  In today’s post, I’ll evaluate several lengths of time used to cleave and fully deprotect an Arg-rich peptide sequence. Continue reading How long should I let my cleavage reaction stir at room temperature?

How does flow rate affect my peptide purification efficiency when using a small pore stationary phase?

In a previous post, I evaluated how flow rate can impact my purification efficiency using flash chromatography.  I noticed though, at high flow rates a significantly later elution time for my peptide.  I hypothesized that the increased pressure was driving the compound further into the pores, increasing the overall interaction with the stationary phase and causing the increased retention.  We know that the particle size and particle pore size impact resolution and purification efficiency, so how does flow rate play a role with a different stationary phase?

In today’s post I’ll evaluate several flow rates using a reversed phase stationary phase material with slightly larger diameter particles that possess significantly smaller pores.  The smaller pores should limit the access of the peptides to the stationary phase and negatively impact the purification.

Continue reading How does flow rate affect my peptide purification efficiency when using a small pore stationary phase?

Preventing aspartimide rearrangements during Fmoc-based solid phase peptide synthesis

Aspartimide rearrangements are a particularly nasty side reaction that can occur during fmoc-based solid phase peptide synthesis.  Not only is this a mass-neutral side reaction, chromatographically resolving the undesired, rearranged product can be particularly difficult.  To make matters worse, this side reaction can occur at any point during the synthesis after the Asp has been incorporated into the peptide.

In a prevous post, I described method that I have found useful for identifying whether or not an aspartimide rearrangment as occured during synthesis of a peptide that contains an aspartimide-susceptible sequence.  In today’s post, I’ll discuss some strategies that can be used to suppress, or even eliminate this side reaction. Continue reading Preventing aspartimide rearrangements during Fmoc-based solid phase peptide synthesis

Has my peptide undergone an aspartimide rearrangement?

Side reactions.  Words that cause a little shiver to run down every chemists’ spine.  As peptide chemists, we worry about both chemical side reactions like diketopiperazine or aspartimide rearrangements, and secondary structure formation as causes for failed peptide syntheses.  But how do you know what to look for?  What is a susceptible sequence and how can you confirm if one of these structural rearrangements has occurred?

In today’s post, I’ll discuss a couple strategies that have been published that illustrate how to identify if an aspartimide rearrangement has in fact occurred during your peptide synthesis. Continue reading Has my peptide undergone an aspartimide rearrangement?

Celebrating one year of the peptide synthesis and purification blog!

Wow! I can’t believe it’s been a year since this whole blogging adventure started.  This started as a technical resource for me and my colleagues within the peptide synthesis and purification space.  The idea was to enable easy access to some of the hard-to-find answers for common questions that I have encountered working with different peptide groups.

The blog has grown steadily this year and for that I thank you.  In the following post, I’ll highlight a few of the most popular posts from the past year as well a few of my favorites.  I hope you will consider providing feedback using the survey link so that we can continue to grow, keeping the content interesting and relevant.

Continue reading Celebrating one year of the peptide synthesis and purification blog!

What mobile phase flow rate should I use for my peptide purification with flash chromatography?

I’ve recently worked with several peptide groups that are trying out flash purification with their peptides for the first time.  And it never fails, every single interaction includes the question “what flow rate should I use for these cartridges?”

There is a lot of information available highlighting optimal flow rates for HPLC method development, but very little information for larger particle stationary phases.  I personally have used a wide range of flow rates for my peptide purification with differing outcomes.  So in today’s post I’d like to have a more thorough discussion about mobile phase flow rate and it’s impact on your chromatography.

Continue reading What mobile phase flow rate should I use for my peptide purification with flash chromatography?

Using mixed stationary phases to improve your peptide purification with flash chromatography

One common technique in HPLC for improving difficult peptide separations is to extend the column length, a topic I explored for flash chromatography in a previous post.  However, alternative purification strategies are sometimes necessary as the purification bottleneck grows with increasing peptide library size, both in number and scale.

In this post, I explore using two identical size cartridges in series with each packed with a different stationary phase.  I wanted to try this to see if I could improve peptide purity with the ultimate goal of reducing the time demand of peptide purification. Continue reading Using mixed stationary phases to improve your peptide purification with flash chromatography

Can I improve my peptide purification by increasing the column length?

There are several strategies often employed to improve peptide purity achieved using reversed phase HPLC.  These strategies can include, changing column length, particle size, particle functionality (C4 vs C18).  I have experimented a bit with some of these criteria while purifying peptides using reversed phase flash chromatography but one obvious change that I have not yet explored is the length of column.

In today’s post, I’ll explore how the length of the cartridge affects the overall resolution and purification efficiency using reversed phase flash column chromatography.

Continue reading Can I improve my peptide purification by increasing the column length?

Does loading method influence my peptide recovery after purification?

In peptide purification, sample loading onto the column is rarely considered.  Most, if not all, HPLC instruments come equipped with a sample injection loop which demands a liquid injection of the sample for purification.  If you decide to use flash chromatography to purify your peptides though, liquid injection is no longer the exclusive method for sample introduction to the column.  Alternatively, dry loading crude material is a strategy often used in small molecule purifications, particularly when sample solubility concerns arise.

The first question I asked myself when considering a new sample loading strategy is whether or not the purification efficiency will be maintained.  A close second though is whether or not the loading method will cause significant differences in peptide recovery.

In today’s post, I’ll compare recovery efficiencies for peptides purified using reversed phase flash chromatography but loaded onto the cartridge using either direct liquid injection or dry loaded onto reversed phase material. Continue reading Does loading method influence my peptide recovery after purification?

How much peptide is recovered from a reversed phase C18 cartridge during flash purification?

Whether it’s the bonded stationary phase, particle size, or even particle pore size, scientists today are offered a plethora of choices when it comes to reversed phase HPLC columns.  An often acknowledged concern in the peptide community though is peptide recovery from reversed phase purification efforts, particularly for precious peptide mixtures.  But how is peptide recovery impacted when you use reversed phase flash chromatography for purification?

In today’s post, I’ll compare recovery levels for two peptides that differ in length as well as crude purity using reversed phase flash chromatography.  In addition to comparing two peptides, I’ll also evaluate how recovery is impacted by altering the mobile phase pH.

Continue reading How much peptide is recovered from a reversed phase C18 cartridge during flash purification?