[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Methotrexate (MTX) has been used to treat rheumatoid arthritis at low doses and leukemia at high doses; however, this drug can produce severe side effects. Our hypothesis is that MTX side effects can be attenuated by directing the drug to the target cells (i.e., leukocytes) using (cyclo(1,12)PenPRGGSVLVTGC) peptide (cIBR). To test this hypothesis, MTX was conjugated to the N-terminus of cIBR peptide to give MTX-cIBR conjugate. MTX-cIBR (5.0 mg/kg) suppressed joint arthritis in adjuvant arthritis rats and prevented periarticular inflammation and bone resorption of the limb joints. In vitro, the toxicity of MTX-cIBR peptide against Molt-3 T cells was inhibited by anti-lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1) antibody and cIBR peptide in a concentration-dependent manner, suggesting that the uptake of MTX-cIBR was partially mediated by LFA-1. Chemical stability studies indicated that MTX-cIBR was most stable at pH 6.0. The MTX portion of MTX-cIBR was unstable under acidic conditions, whereas the cIBR portion was unstable under basic conditions. In biological media, MTX-cIBR had short half lives in rat plasma (44 min) and homogenized rat heart tissue (38 min). This low plasma stability may contribute to the low in vivo efficacy of MTX-cIBR; therefore, there is a need to design a more stable conjugate to improve the in vivo efficacy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objective of this study is to evaluate the activity of a novel peptide, i.e., bifunctional peptide inhibitor (BPI), which targets the immunological synapse and inhibits autoimmune responses in an antigen-specific manner. Proteolipid protein (PLP)-BPI was designed by conjugating two peptides, an encephalitogenic epitope of proteolipid protein (PLP(139-151)) and an intercellular adhesion molecule-1-binding peptide derived from alpha(L) integrin (CD11a(237-246)), via a spacer peptide. The therapeutic effect of PLP-BPI was studied in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in female SJL/J mice as a model for human multiple sclerosis. Mice that received i.v. injections of PLP-BPI showed significantly lower EAE disease scores and incidence than those treated with vehicle, PLP(139-151) peptide only, CD11a(237-246) peptide only, unlinked mixture of PLP(139-151), and CD11a(237-246) peptides, or other control peptides. Multiple injections of antigenic peptide can produce anaphylactic responses; interestingly, PLP-BPI-treated animals have significantly lower anaphylactic response than do the PLP(139-151)-treated group. Therefore, PLP-BPI can effectively inhibit the disease severity and incidence of EAE with a lower possibility of inducing fatal anaphylaxis. These results suggest that BPI-type molecules can be used to treat different autoimmune diseases in which antigenic epitopes have been identified.
Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 09/2007; 322(2):879-86. DOI:10.1124/jpet.107.123257 · 3.97 Impact Factor