Article

Discovering and improving novel peptide therapeutics.

Cyclogenix Limited, Crombie Lodge, Aberdeen Science & Technology Park, Aberdeen, UK.
Current Opinion in Pharmacology (Impact Factor: 5.44). 08/2008; 8(5):616-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.coph.2008.06.002
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Peptides have a number of advantages over small molecules in terms of specificity and affinity for targets, and over antibodies in terms of size. However, sensitivity to serum and tissue proteases coupled with short serum half-life has resulted in few recombinant library derived peptides, making the transition from lead to drug on the market. Recently, a series of technologies have been developed to address both these issues: selection methodologies addressing protease resistance have been developed that when combined with methods such as pegylation antibody Fc attachment and binding to serum albumin look likely to finally turn therapeutic peptides into a widely accepted drug class.

1 Bookmark
 · 
175 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The great versatility and the inherent high affinities of peptides for their respective targets have led to tremendous progress for therapeutic applications in the last years. In order to increase the drugability of these frequently unstable and rapidly cleared molecules, chemical modifications are of great interest. Automated solid-phase peptide synthesis (SPPS) offers a suitable technology to produce chemically engineered peptides. This review concentrates on the application of SPPS by Fmoc/t-Bu protecting-group strategy, which is most commonly used. Critical issues and suggestions for the synthesis are covered. The development of automated methods from conventional to essentially improved microwave-assisted instruments is discussed. In order to improve pharmacokinetic properties of peptides, lipidation and PEGylation are described as covalent conjugation methods, which can be applied by a combination of automated and manual synthesis approaches. The synthesis and application of SPPS is described for neuropeptide Y receptor analogs as an example for bioactive hormones. The applied strategies represent innovative and potent methods for the development of novel peptide drug candidates that can be manufactured with optimized automated synthesis technologies.
    Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry 01/2014; 10:1197-212. · 2.80 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Virus or tumor Ag-derived peptides that are displayed by MHC class I molecules are attractive starting points for vaccine development because they induce strong protective and therapeutic cytotoxic T cell responses. In thus study, we show that the MHC binding and consequent T cell reactivity against several HLA-A*02 restricted epitopes can be further improved through the incorporation of nonproteogenic amino acids at primary and secondary anchor positions. We screened more than 90 nonproteogenic, synthetic amino acids through a range of epitopes and tested more than 3000 chemically enhanced altered peptide ligands (CPLs) for binding affinity to HLA-A*0201. With this approach, we designed CPLs of viral epitopes, of melanoma-associated Ags, and of the minor histocompatibility Ag UTA2-1, which is currently being evaluated for its antileukemic activity in clinical dendritic cell vaccination trials. The crystal structure of one of the CPLs in complex with HLA-A*0201 revealed the molecular interactions likely responsible for improved binding. The best CPLs displayed enhanced affinity for MHC, increasing MHC stability and prolonging recognition by Ag-specific T cells and, most importantly, they induced accelerated expansion of antitumor T cell frequencies in vitro and in vivo as compared with the native epitope. Eventually, we were able to construct a toolbox of preferred nonproteogenic residues with which practically any given HLA-A*02 restricted epitope can be readily optimized. These CPLs could improve the therapeutic outcome of vaccination strategies or can be used for ex vivo enrichment and faster expansion of Ag-specific T cells for transfer into patients.
    Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950). 10/2014;
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Peptides constructed with the 20 natural amino acids are generally considered to have little therapeutic potential because they are unstable in the presence of proteases and peptidases. However, proteolysis cleavage can be idiosyncratic, and it is possible that natural analogues of functional sequences exist that are highly resistant to cleavage. Here, we explored this idea in the context of peptides that bind to the signaling protein Gαi1. To do this, we used a two-step in vitro selection process to simultaneously select for protease resistance while retaining function-first by degrading the starting library with protease (chymotrypsin), followed by positive selection for binding via mRNA display. Starting from a pool of functional sequences, these experiments revealed peptides with 100-400 fold increases in protease resistance compared to the parental library. Surprisingly, selection for chymotrypsin resistance also resulted in similarly improved stability in human serum (~100 fold). Mechanistically, the decreases in cleavage results from both a lower rate of cleavage (kcat) and a weaker interaction with the protease (Km). Overall, our results demonstrate that the hydrolytic stability of functional, natural peptide sequences can be improved by two orders of magnitude simply by optimizing the primary sequence.
    Scientific reports. 01/2014; 4:6008.