Journal of Cell Communication and Signaling

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 319–330 | Cite as

Protein PEGylation for cancer therapy: bench to bedside

  • Vijayalaxmi Gupta
  • Sneha Bhavanasi
  • Mohiuddin QuadirEmail author
  • Kevin Singh
  • Gaurav Ghosh
  • Kritin Vasamreddy
  • Arnab Ghosh
  • Teruna J. Siahaan
  • Snigdha BanerjeeEmail author
  • Sushanta K. BanerjeeEmail author


PEGylation is a biochemical modification process of bioactive molecules with polyethylene glycol (PEG), which lends several desirable properties to proteins/peptides, antibodies, and vesicles considered to be used for therapy or genetic modification of cells. However, PEGylation of proteins is a complex process and can be carried out using more than one strategy that depends on the nature of the protein and the desired application. Proteins of interest are covalently conjugated or non-covalently complexed with inert PEG strings. Purification of PEGylated protein is another critical step, which is mainly carried out based on electrostatic interactions or molecular sizes using chromatography. Several PEGylated drugs are being used for diseases like anemia, kidney disease, multiple sclerosis, hemophilia and cancers. With the advancement and increased specificity of the PEGylation process, the world of drug therapy, and specifically cancer therapy could benefit by utilizing this technique to create more stable and non-immunogenic therapies. In this article we describe the structure and functions of PEGylation and how this chemistry helps in drug discovery. Moreover, special emphasis has been given to CCN-family proteins that can be targeted or used as therapy to prevent or block cancer progression through PEGylation technology.


PEGylation Cancer Polyethylene glycol Nanoparticles Immunogenicity 



Polyethylene glycol




Molecular weight



We thank the members of Kansas City VA Research Office and Midwest Biomedical Research Foundation Administrative and clerical supports.

Author’s contribution

Conception and design: S. K. Banerjee, S. Banerjee, M. Quadir, and V. Gupta, A. Ghosh; Writing and review of the manuscript: V. Gupta, M. Quadir, S. Bhavanasi, G. Ghosh, T. Siahaan, and S.K. Banerjee; Administrative, technical or material support: M. Quadir and S. K. Banerjee, and Study supervision: S. K. Banerjee.


The work is supported by Merit review grant from Department of Veterans Affairs (Sushanta K. Banerjee, 5I01BX001989–04 and Snigdha Banerjee, I01BX001002–05), KUMC Lied Basic Science Grant Program (SKB), and Grace Hortense Greenley Trust, directed by The Research Foundation in memory of Eva Lee Caldwell (SKB). This work is partially supported by NIH grant P20 GM109024 from the National Institute of General Medical Science (NIGMS) (MQ), NSF under Grant No.  092354 (MQ), NIH Grant Number 2P20 RR015566 from the National Center for Research Resources (MQ), NIH grant 1R01 GM 114080 (NIGMS) and NSF Grant No. IIA-1355466 from North Dakota Established Program to Stimulate Comperative Research (EPSCoR) through the Center for Sustanable Materials Science (MQ).

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethics approval and consent to participate

Compliance with ethical standard of VA Medical Center.

Consent for publication

All the authors of this manuscript have agreed to publish this article.

Competing interests

No potential conflicts of interest were disclosed.


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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. Government work and not under copyright protection in the US; foreign copyright protection may apply 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vijayalaxmi Gupta
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sneha Bhavanasi
    • 1
  • Mohiuddin Quadir
    • 3
    Email author
  • Kevin Singh
    • 1
  • Gaurav Ghosh
    • 1
  • Kritin Vasamreddy
    • 1
  • Arnab Ghosh
    • 1
    • 4
  • Teruna J. Siahaan
    • 5
  • Snigdha Banerjee
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • Sushanta K. Banerjee
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Cancer Research UnitVA Medical CenterKansas CityUSA
  2. 2.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyUniversity of Kansas Medical CenterKansas CityUSA
  3. 3.Department of Coatings and Polymeric MaterialsNorth Dakota State UniversityFargoUSA
  4. 4.Department of Pathology and Laboratory MedicineUniversity of Kansas Medical CenterKansas CityUSA
  5. 5.School of Pharmacy-Pharmaceutical ChemistryThe University of KansasLawrenceUSA

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