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The Peptide Synthesis Research Group (PSRG) is making a major change in direction with the new goal of serving the membership in an educational role. As one of the original research groups of ABRF, we have been involved in numerous studies over the years that have given members the opportunity to participate in various aspects of peptide synthesis. However, the change in economic climate is being felt by ABRF Core Laboratories and these facilities are being asked to “do more with less” in terms of personnel and resources. Hence, in order to better serve the ABRF membership, the PSRG will make this major change in direction beginning with the upcoming study. In the 2004 study, the research group will be the only participants and undertake the “Purification of a Difficult Peptide Sequence” for presentation at the 2004 meeting in Portland. Membership participation for our studies will no longer be solicited. We hope in future years to provide information that will keep the ABRF membership abreast of the state of the art in peptide synthesis.
Results from the 2001 study “Synthesis and Purification of a Difficult Peptide Sequence” revealed a large disparity for the homogeneity of products provided from core facilities as “pure” peptides. It was no surprise that the 2001 study demonstrated that the preparation of a synthetically challenging peptide resulted in a wide variation of product purity. However, of significant interest was the wide disparity between peptide homogeneity that core facilities deemed as “pure.” Unexpectedly, the results of the product analysis revealed that the “pure” peptide aliquots submitted from the ABRF member laboratories ranged from 35 to 91% in purity, with an average homogeneity of 63 ± 26%. Thus, in order to provide core facilities with tools that will enhance their ability to purify such difficult sequences, the PSRG will undertake the purification of “peptide C”—H-Arg-Gln-Ala-Lys-Val-Leu-Leu-Tyr-Ser-Gly-Arg-OH—which is known to be inherently challenging and which was graciously provided to us by the Peptide Standards Committee on-resin. This peptide presents a purification challenge, as it has been proven to be synthetically difficult to prepare (especially on a large scale as is needed by the Peptide Standards Committee) because of the large heterogeneity of products produced. The goal of the 2004 study is to provide the membership with enabling methodology that will enhance their ability to purify challenging peptide sequences and to produce the highest quality peptide products.