Optimal functionality of synthetic lung surfactant for treatment of respiratory distress syndrome in preterm infants largely depends on the quality and quantity of the surfactant protein B (SP-B) peptide mimic and the lipid mixture. B-YL peptide is a 41-residue sulfur-free SP-B mimic with its cysteine and methionine residues replaced by tyrosine and leucine, respectively, to enhance its oxidation resistance.
Testing the structural and functional stability of the B-YL peptide in synthetic surfactant lipids after long-term storage.
The structural and functional properties of B-YL peptide in surfactant lipids were studied using three production runs of B-YL peptides in synthetic surfactant lipids. Each run was held at 5 °C ambient temperature for three years and analyzed with structural and computational techniques, i.e., MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry, ATR-Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR), secondary homology modeling of a preliminary B-YL structure, and tertiary Molecular Dynamic simulations of B-YL in surfactant lipids, and with functional methods, i.e., captive bubble surfactometry (CBS) and retesting in vivo surface activity in surfactant-deficient young adult rabbits.
MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry showed no degradation of the B-YL peptide as a function of stored time. ATR-FTIR studies demonstrated that the B-YL peptide still assumed stable alpha-helical conformations in synthetic surfactant lipids. These structural findings correlated with excellent in vitro surface activity during both quasi-static and dynamic cycling on CBS after three years of cold storage and in vivo surface activity of the aged formulations with improvements in oxygenation and dynamic lung compliance approaching those of the positive control surfactant Curosurf®.
The structure of the B-YL peptide and the in vitro and in vivo functions of the B-YL surfactant were each maintained after three years of refrigeration storage.

© 2021. The Author(s).