[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Upon binding of the corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) analog sauvagine to the type 1 CRF receptor (CRF(1)), the amino-terminal portion of the peptide has been shown to lie near Lys257 in the receptor's second extracellular loop (EL2). To test the hypothesis that EL2 residues play a role in the binding of sauvagine to CRF(1) we carried out an alanine-scanning mutagenesis study to determine the functional role of EL2 residues (Leu251 to Val266). Only the W259A, F260A, and W259A/F260A mutations reduced the binding affinity and potency of sauvagine. In contrast, these mutations did not seem to significantly alter the overall receptor conformation, in that they left unchanged the affinities of the ligands astressin and antalarmin that have been suggested to bind to different regions of CRF(1). The W259A, F260A, and W259A/F260A mutations also decreased the affinity of the endogenous ligand, CRF, implying that these residues may play a common important role in the binding of different peptides belonging to CRF family. Parallel amino acid deletions of the two peptides produced ligands with various affinities for wild-type CRF(1) compared with the W259A, F260A, and W259A/F260A mutants, supporting the interaction between the amino-terminal residues 8 to 10 of sauvagine and the corresponding region in CRF with EL2 of CRF(1). This is the first time that a specific region of CRF(1) has been implicated in detailed interactions between the receptor and the amino-terminal portion of peptides belonging to the CRF family.
Full-text Article · Feb 2009 · Molecular pharmacology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: The study of pharmacologically active peptides is central for the understanding of cancer and the development of novel therapeutic approaches. In this context, both qualitative and quantitative determination of bioactive peptides in biological fluids/tissues and their effect on endogenous factors (e.g. hormones) are of great importance. A mass spectrometry-based approach was developed and applied towards the measurement of leuprolide, a peptide drug for the treatment of prostate cancer, in mouse plasma. High-pressure liquid chromatography coupled to a hybrid quadrupole linear ion trap (QqLIT) mass spectrometer, a platform that combines the benefits of triple QqLIT instruments, was employed for the study. Using the described methodology, we established that picomolar concentrations of leuprolide could be measured in mouse plasma (limit of quantification of 0.1 ng/ml). In order to optimize pharmacokinetic properties of analogs of leuprolide, a facile in vivo mouse model was developed and leuprolide concentrations were determined in mouse plasma following intraperitoneal administration. In the same animal model, we demonstrated the versatility of the described MS-based approach by the determination of plasma concentrations of testosterone, an established biomarker for the treatment of prostate cancer. Following dosing with leuprolide, circulating testosterone was increased significantly in comparison to vehicle-treated mice. Finally, in vitro metabolism of leuprolide was evaluated by incubation of leuprolide with mouse kidney membranes, followed by identification of major metabolites by MS. Such studies provide the framework for future evaluation of novel leuprolide analogs with potential therapeutic advantages.
Full-text Article · Oct 2008 · Journal of Mass Spectrometry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Analogues of sarilesin (type I AT1 antagonists), and sarmesin (type II AT1 antagonists) with homoserine (hSer) at position 8 were prepared and bioassayed. The presence of a Tyr4-Ile5-His6 bend found in sarmesin but not in sarilesin was identified. The obtained results coupled with conformational analysis studies, using a combination of NMR spectroscopy and computational chemistry, propose important conformational and stereoelectronic properties for agonist and antagonist activity at AT1 receptors.