Poly(l-alanine-co-l-threonine succinate) as a Biomimetic Cryoprotectant

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We synthesized a series of [(l-Ala)x-co-(l-Thr succinate)y] (PATs), which are analogous to natural antifreezing glycoprotein with the structure of [l-Ala-l-Ala-l-Thr disaccharide]n, by varying the composition and degree of succinylation while fixing their molecular weight (Mn) and Ala/Thr ratio at approximately 10-12 kDa and 2:1, respectively. We investigated their ice recrystallization inhibition (IRI), ice nucleation inhibition (INI), dynamic ice shaping (DIS), thermal hysteresis (TH), and protein cryopreservation activities. Both IRI and INI activities were greater for PATs with higher l-Ala content (PATs-3 and PATs-4) than those with lower l-Ala content (PATs-1 and PATs-2). DIS activity with faceted crystal growth was clearly observed in PATs-2 and PATs-4 with a high degree of succinylation. TH was small with <0.1 °C for all PATs and slightly greater for PATs with a high l-Ala content. Except for PATs-1, the protein (lactate dehydrogenase, LDH) stabilization activity was excellent for all PATs studied, maintaining LDH activity as high as that of fresh LDH even after 15 freeze-thaw cycles. To conclude, the cryo-active biomimetic PATs were synthesized by controlling the l-Ala content and degree of succinylation. Our results showed that PATs with an l-Ala content of 65-70% and degree of succinylation of 12-19% exhibited the cryo-activities of IRI, INI, and DIS, and particularly promising properties for the cryoprotection of LDH protein.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58092-58102
Number of pages11
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number50
StatePublished - 20 Dec 2023

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© 2023 American Chemical Society.


  • cryoprotectant
  • dynamic ice shaping
  • ice recrystallization inhibition
  • protein cryopreservation
  • synthetic polypeptide


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