Design of N-substituted peptomer ligands for EVH1 domains.
ABSTRACT Ena/VASP proteins are implicated in cytoskeletal reorganization during actin-dependent motility processes. Recruitment to subcellular sites of actin polymerization is mediated by the highly conserved N-terminal EVH1 domain, which interacts with target proteins containing proline-rich motifs. The VASP EVH1 domain specifically binds peptides with the consensus motif FPPPP present in all its binding partners, including the Listerial ActA protein. Previous studies have shown that the Phe and first and final Pro residues are highly conserved and cannot be substituted with any other natural amino acid without significant loss of binding affinity. We have incorporated peptoid building blocks (sarcosine derived, non-natural amino acids) into the peptide SFEFPPPPTEDEL from the Listerial ActA protein and were able to substitute the most highly conserved residues of this motif while maintaining binding to the VASP EVH1 domain with affinities in the range of 45-180 microm. We then used NMR chemical shift perturbations to locate specific domain residues involved in particular interactions. These studies may open up the way for designing selective modulators of VASP function for biological studies and for the development of novel therapeutics for diseases involving pathologically altered cell adhesion or cell motility.
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ABSTRACT: We have evaluated "NMEGylation"--the covalent attachment of an oligo-N-methoxyethylglycine (NMEG) chain--as a new form of peptide/protein modification to enhance the bioavailability of short peptides. OligoNMEGs are hydrophilic polyethylene glycol-like molecules made by solid-phase synthesis, typically up to 40 monomers in length. They have been studied as nonfouling surface coatings and as monodisperse mobility modifiers for free-solution conjugate capillary electrophoresis. However, polyNMEGs have not been demonstrated before this work as modifiers of therapeutic proteins. In prior published work, we identified a short peptide, "C20," as a potential extracellular inhibitor of the fusion of human respiratory syncytial virus with mammalian cells. The present study was aimed at improving the C20 peptide's stability and solubility. To this end, we synthesized and studied a series of NMEGylated C20 peptide-peptoid bioconjugates comprising different numbers of NMEGs at either the N- or C-terminus of C20. NMEGylation was found to greatly improve this peptide's solubility and serum stability; however, longer polyNMEGs (n > 3) deleteriously affected peptide binding to the target protein. By incorporating just one NMEG monomer, along with a glycine monomer as a flexible spacer, at C20's N-terminus (NMEG-Gly-C20), we increased both solubility and serum stability greatly, while recovering a binding affinity comparable to that of unmodified C20 peptide. Our results suggest that NMEGylation with an optimized number of NMEG monomers and a proper linker could be useful, more broadly, as a novel modification to enhance bioavailability and efficacy of therapeutic peptides.Biopolymers 01/2011; 96(5):688-93. · 2.88 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Macrocyclic constraints are often employed to rigidify the conformation of flexible oligomeric systems. This approach has recently been used to organize the structure of peptoid oligomers, which are peptidomimetics composed of chemically diverse N-substituted glycine monomer units. In this review, we describe advances in the synthesis and characterization of cyclic peptoids. We evaluate how the installation of covalent constraints between the oligomer termini or side chains has been effective in defining peptoid conformations. We also discuss the potential applications for this promising family of macrocyclic peptidomimetics.Chemistry 04/2010; 16(19):5528-37. · 5.93 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Incorporation of unnatural amino acids and peptidomimetic residues into therapeutic peptides is highly efficacious and commonly employed, but generally requires laborious trial-and-error approaches. Previously, we demonstrated that C20 peptide has the potential to be a potential antiviral agent. Herein we report our attempt to improve the biological properties of this peptide by introducing peptidomimetics. Through combined alanine, proline, and sarcosine scans coupled with a competitive fluorescence polarization assay developed for identifying antiviral peptides, we enabled to pinpoint peptoid-tolerant peptide residues within C20 peptide. The synergistic benefits of combining these (and other) commonly employed methods could lead to a easily applicable strategy for designing and refining therapeutically-attractive peptidomimetics.PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(3):e58874. · 3.73 Impact Factor