Structure-based approach to the design of BakBH3 mimetic peptides with increased helical propensity.

Department of Physical Chemistry, University of Barcelona (UB) and Institut de Química Teòrica i Computacional (IQTCUB), Universitat de Barcelona, C/Martí i Franquès 1, 08028, Barcelona, Spain.
Journal of Molecular Modeling (Impact Factor: 1.87). 07/2013; DOI: 10.1007/s00894-013-1944-3
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The Bcl-2 family of proteins are well-characterized regulators of the intrinsic apoptotic pathway. Proteins within this family can be classified as either prosurvival or prodeath members and the balance between them present at the mitochondrial membrane is what determines if the cell lives or dies. Specific interactions among Bcl-2 family proteins play a crucial role in regulating programmed cell death. Structural studies have established a conserved interaction pattern among Bcl-2 family members. This interaction is mediated by the binding of the hydrophobic face of the amphipathic α-helical BH3 domain into a conserved hydrophobic groove on the prosurvival partners. It has been reported that an increase in the helical content of BH3 mimetic peptides considerably improves the binding affinity. In this context, this work states for designing peptides derived from the BH3 domain of the proapoptotic protein Bak by substitution of some non-interacting residues by the helical inducing residue Aib. Different synthetic peptides preserving BakBH3 relevant interactions were proposed and simulated presenting a better predicted binding energy and higher helical content than the wild type Bak peptide.

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