Rational design and biophysical characterization of thioredoxin-based aptamers: insights into peptide grafting.
ABSTRACT Peptide aptamers are simple structures, often made up of a single-variable peptide loop constrained within a constant scaffold protein. Aptamers were rationally designed by inserting peptides into a solvent-exposed loop on thioredoxin (Trx). They were designed to interact with the proteins elongation initiation factor 4E (eIF4E) and mouse double minute 2 (MDM2) and were then validated by competitive fluorescence anisotropy experiments. The constructed aptamers interacted with eIF4E and MDM2 with apparent K(d) values of 1.25+/-0.06 microM and 0.09+/-0.01 microM, respectively, as determined by isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC). The MDM2 aptamer (SuperTIP) interacted approximately 2-fold more tightly with MDM2 than the free linear peptide (12.1 peptide), while the eIF4E aptamer elongation initiation factor 4GI-SG interacted approximately 5-fold less strongly than the free linear peptide (elongation initiation factor 4GI). These differences in binding with respect to each aptamer's free peptide reveal that there are more factors involved than just constraining a peptide in a scaffold that lead to tighter binding. ITC studies of aptamer interactions reveal an enthalpic component more favorable than that for the free linear peptides, as well as a larger unfavorable entropic component. These results indicated that stapling of the free peptide in the scaffold increases the favorable enthalpy of the interaction with the target protein. Thermostability studies also revealed that peptide insertion significantly destabilized the Trx scaffold by approximately 27 degrees C. It is this destabilization that leads to an increase in the flexibility of the Trx scaffold, which presumably is lost upon the aptamer's interaction with the target protein and is the cause of the increase in unfavorable entropy in the ITC studies. The precise origin of the enthalpic effect was further studied using molecular dynamics for the MDM2-SuperTIP system, which revealed that there were also favorable electrostatic interactions between the Trx scaffold and the MDM2 protein itself, as well as with the inserted peptide. This work reveals that any increase in the binding affinity of an aptamer over a free peptide is dependent on the increase in the favorable enthalpy of binding, which is ideally caused by stapling of the peptide or by additional interactions between the aptamer protein and its target. These need to be sufficient to compensate for the destabilization of the scaffold by peptide insertion. These observations will be useful in future aptamer designs.
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ABSTRACT: Two different hexapeptides were computationally designed and tested as selective SPE sorbent for cocaine. The amino acid residues used for designing the two hexapeptides, tested in SPE experiments, were, according to chemical function and interatomic distances, the most (QHWWDW) and the lowest (ESSIDH) preserved sequences in 4 proteins binding cocaine. The hexapeptide-cocaine complex was docked with different scoring functions combinations and resulting binding scores were compared with the SPE results. The extraction procedure for SPE was optimized considering volume loading, pH effect, and human plasma matrix interferences. Cocaine was loaded onto the modified resin cartridge at 10ngmL(-1) and the peptide QHWWDW was found to have the highest recovery with the best retention at pH 7.5, in agreement with docking simulation. Retention experiments were carried out also on cocaine metabolites nor-cocaine, benzoylecgonine and ecgonine methyl ester. Except for nor-cocaine the retention of metabolites on resin modified with peptide QHWWDW decreased drastically confirming the peptide selectivity, and validating the simulation data. Compared to standard solutions, only a slight decrease in cocaine recovery was observed loading human plasma samples after a partial protein precipitation.Analytica chimica acta 04/2013; 772:40-6. · 4.31 Impact Factor
Article: The MDM2-p53 pathway revisited.[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The p53 tumor suppressor is a key transcription factor regulating cellular pathways such as DNA repair, cell cycle, apoptosis, angiogenesis, and senescence. It acts as an important defense mechanism against cancer onset and progression, and is negatively regulated by interaction with the oncoprotein MDM2. In human cancers, the TP53 gene is frequently mutated or deleted, or the wild-type p53 function is inhibited by high levels of MDM2, leading to downregulation of tumor suppressive p53 pathways. Thus, the inhibition of MDM2-p53 interaction presents an appealing therapeutic strategy for the treatment of cancer. However, recent studies have revealed the MDM2-p53 interaction to be more complex involving multiple levels of regulation by numerous cellular proteins and epigenetic mechanisms, making it imperative to reexamine this intricate interplay from a holistic viewpoint. This review aims to highlight the multifaceted network of molecules regulating the MDM2-p53 axis to better understand the pathway and exploit it for anticancer therapy.Journal of biomedical research. 07/2013; 27(4):254-71.
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ABSTRACT: Peptide aptamers are small proteins containing a randomized peptide sequence embedded into a stable protein scaffold, such as Thioredoxin. We developed a robust method for building a Combinatorial Library of Improved Peptide aptamers (CLIPs) of high complexity, containing ≥3×10(10) independent clones, to be used as a molecular tool in the study of biological pathways. The Thioredoxin scaffold was modified to increase solubility and eliminate aggregation of the peptide aptamers. The CLIPs was used in a yeast two-hybrid screen to identify peptide aptamers that bind to various domains of the Receptor for Advanced Glycation End products (RAGE). NMR spectroscopy was used to identify interaction surfaces between the peptide aptamers and RAGE domains. Cellular functional assays revealed that in addition to directly interfering with known binding sites, peptide aptamer binding distal to ligand sites also inhibits RAGE ligand-induced signal transduction. This finding underscores the potential of using CLIPs to select allosteric inhibitors of biological targets.PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(6):e65180. · 3.73 Impact Factor