M-PEG-Mal, or Methoxy Polyethylene Glycol Maleimide, is a synthetic polymer composed of repeating units of ethylene glycol and methoxy groups, with a maleimide functional group at one end. The maleimide functional group makes M-PEG-Mal highly reactive towards thiol groups, allowing it to be used in a variety of applications, particularly in pharmaceutical research and development.
In drug development, M-PEG-Mal is commonly used as a linker to conjugate therapeutic molecules with targeting moieties, such as antibodies or peptides. The maleimide functional group reacts with the thiol group of a cysteine residue on the targeting moiety, forming a covalent bond that links the two molecules together. This conjugation strategy is particularly useful in the development of targeted drug delivery systems, where the drug is selectively delivered to the desired site in the body, improving efficacy and reducing side effects.
M-PEG-Mal can also be used to modify surfaces, such as the surface of nanoparticles or biomaterials. The maleimide functional group can react with thiolated molecules on the surface, creating a stable bond that can improve the stability and biocompatibility of the material.