A FRET-Based High Throughput Screening Assay to Identify Inhibitors of Anthrax Protective Antigen Binding to Capillary Morphogenesis Gene 2 Protein

Department of Surgery, Vascular Biology Program, Children's Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.23). 06/2012; 7(6):e39911. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0039911
Source: PubMed


Anti-angiogenic therapies are effective for the treatment of cancer, a variety of ocular diseases, and have potential benefits in cardiovascular disease, arthritis, and psoriasis. We have previously shown that anthrax protective antigen (PA), a non-pathogenic component of anthrax toxin, is an inhibitor of angiogenesis, apparently as a result of interaction with the cell surface receptors capillary morphogenesis gene 2 (CMG2) protein and tumor endothelial marker 8 (TEM8). Hence, molecules that bind the anthrax toxin receptors may be effective to slow or halt pathological vascular growth. Here we describe development and testing of an effective homogeneous steady-state fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) high throughput screening assay designed to identify molecules that inhibit binding of PA to CMG2. Molecules identified in the screen can serve as potential lead compounds for the development of anti-angiogenic and anti-anthrax therapies. The assay to screen for inhibitors of this protein-protein interaction is sensitive and robust, with observed Z' values as high as 0.92. Preliminary screens conducted with a library of known bioactive compounds identified tannic acid and cisplatin as inhibitors of the PA-CMG2 interaction. We have confirmed that tannic acid both binds CMG2 and has anti-endothelial properties. In contrast, cisplatin appears to inhibit PA-CMG2 interaction by binding both PA and CMG2, and observed cisplatin anti-angiogenic effects are not mediated by interaction with CMG2. This work represents the first reported high throughput screening assay targeting CMG2 to identify possible inhibitors of both angiogenesis and anthrax intoxication.

Download full-text


Available from: Michael S Rogers, Oct 06, 2015
21 Reads
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: CMG2 is a transmembrane extracellular matrix binding protein that is also an anthrax toxin receptor. We have shown that high affinity CMG2 binders can inhibit angiogenesis and tumor growth. We recently described a high throughput FRET assay to identify CMG2 inhibitors. We now report the serendipitous discovery that PGG (1,2,3,4,6-penta-O-galloyl-β-D-glucopyranose) is a CMG2 inhibitor with anti-angiogenic activity. PGG is a gallotannin produced by a variety of medicinal plants that exhibits a wide variety of anti-tumor and other activities. We find that PGG inhibits CMG2 with a submicromolar IC50 and it also inhibits the migration of human dermal microvascular endothelial cells at similar concentrations in vitro. Finally, oral or intraperitoneal administration of PGG inhibits angiogenesis in the mouse corneal micropocket assay in vivo. Together, these results suggest that a portion of the in vivo anti-tumor activity of PGG may be the result of antiangiogenic activity mediated by inhibition of CMG2.
    Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 02/2013; 56(5). DOI:10.1021/jm301558t · 5.45 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Tumor marker endothelial 8 (TEM8) is a receptor for the protective antigen (PA) component of anthrax toxin. TEM8 is upregulated on endothelial cells lining the blood vessels within tumors, compared with normal blood vessels. A number of studies have demonstrated a pivotal role for TEM8 in developmental and tumor angiogenesis. We have also shown that targeting the anthrax receptors with a mutated form of PA inhibits angiogenesis and tumor formation in vivo. Here we describe the development and testing of a high-throughput fluorescence resonance energy transfer assay to identify molecules that strongly inhibit the interaction of PA and TEM8. The assay we describe is sensitive and robust, with a Z' value of 0.8. A preliminary screen of 2310 known bioactive library compounds identified ebselen and thimerosal as inhibitors of the TEM8-PA interaction. These molecules each contain a cysteine-reactive transition metal, and complementary studies indicate that their inhibition of interaction is due to modification of a cysteine residue in the TEM8 extracellular domain. This is the first demonstration of a high-throughput screening assay that identifies inhibitors of TEM8, with potential application for antianthrax and antiangiogenic diseases.
    Journal of Biomolecular Screening 03/2013; 18(6). DOI:10.1177/1087057113478655 · 2.42 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Present-day rational drug design approaches are based on exploiting unique features of the target biomolecules, small- or macromolecule drug candidates and physical forces that govern their interactions. The 2013 Nobel Prize in chemistry awarded 'for the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems' once again demonstrated the importance of the tailored drug discovery that reduces the role of the trial-and-error approach to a minimum. The intentional dissemination of Bacillus anthracis spores in 2001 via the so-called anthrax letters has led to increased efforts, politically and scientifically, to develop medical countermeasures that will protect people from the threat of anthrax bioterrorism. Areas covered: This article provides an overview of the recent rational drug design approaches for discovering inhibitors of anthrax toxin. The review also directs the readers to the vast literature on the recognized advances and future possibilities in the field. Expert opinion: Existing options to combat anthrax toxin lethality are limited. With the only anthrax toxin inhibiting therapy (protective antigen-targeting with a monoclonal antibody, raxibacumab) approved to treat inhalational anthrax, the situation, in our view, is still insecure. Further, the FDA's animal rule for drug approval, which clears compounds without validated efficacy studies on humans, creates a high level of uncertainty, especially when a well-characterized animal model does not exist. Better identification and validation of anthrax toxin therapeutic targets at the molecular level as well as elucidation of the parameters determining the corresponding therapeutic windows are still necessary for more effective therapeutic options.
    Expert Opinion on Drug Discovery 01/2014; 9(3). DOI:10.1517/17460441.2014.877884 · 3.54 Impact Factor
Show more