Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten

Exploring molecular interactions between polypeptide conjugates and protein targets: Manipulating affinity by chemical modifications

  • Datum: 2017-10-10 kl 09:15
  • Plats: C4:301 BMC, Husargatan 3, Uppsala
  • Föreläsare: Balliu, Aleksandra
  • Webbsida
  • Arrangör: Organisk kemi
  • Kontaktperson: Balliu, Aleksandra
  • Disputation

In this thesis molecular interactions between polypeptide conjugates and protein targets were investigated. Polypeptides were derivatized with small organic molecules, peptides and oligonucleotides. New strategies were developed with the aim to increase affinities for proteins of biological interest.

A 42-residue polypeptide (4-C15L8) conjugated to a small organic molecule 3,5-bis[[bis(2-pyridylmethyl)amino]methyl]benzoic acid (PP1), was shown to bind glycogen phosphorylase a (GPa) in the presence of zinc ions. Under the assumption that hydrophobic interactions dominated the binding energy, the hydrophobic residues of 4-C15L8-PP1 were systematically replaced in order to study their contribution to the affinity enhancement. The replacement of the Nle, Ile and Leu residues by Ala amino acids reduced affinities. The introduction of non-natural L-2-aminooctanoic acid (Aoc) residues into the peptide sequence enhanced the binding affinity for GPa. A decreased KD of 27nM was obtained when Nle5, Ile9 and Leu12 were replaced by Aoc residues, in comparison to the KD value of 280nM obtained for the unmodified 4-C15L8-PP1. It is evident that there are non-obvious hydrophobic binding sites on the surfaces of proteins that could be identified by introducing the more hydrophobic and conformationally flexible Aoc residues. The downsizing of the 42-mer peptide to an 11-mer and the incorporation of three Aoc residues gave rise to a KD of 550 nM, comparable to that of  4-C15L8-PP1 suggesting that bioactive peptides can be downsized by the introduction of Aoc.

Aiming to improve in vivo stability, the affinity for human serum albumin (HSA) of hydrophobic, positively and negatively charged polypeptide-PP1 conjugates was evaluated. Increased hydrophobicity due to the introduction of Aoc residues did not significantly increase the affinity for HSA. No binding was observed in the case of the most negatively charged polypeptides whereas the slightly negatively and positively charged polypeptides conjugated to PP1 bound HSA with affinities that increased with the positive charge. It was found that polypeptide-PP1 conjugates target the zinc binding site of the HSA. Affinity enhancement was obtained due to the incorporation of PP1 and increased by charge to charge interactions between the positively charged amino acids of the polypeptide and the negatively charged residues of HSA, in close proximity to the HSA zinc binding site. The survival times of the peptide-PP1 conjugates in human serum were extended as a result of binding to HSA. Zn2+ ion chelating agents can be incorporated in potential peptide therapeutics with a short plasma half-life, without increasing their molecular weights.