Potent Human ?-Amylase Inhibition by the ?-Defensin-like Protein Helianthamide.
ABSTRACT: Selective inhibitors of human pancreatic ?-amylase (HPA) are an effective means of controlling blood sugar levels in the management of diabetes. A high-throughput screen of marine natural product extracts led to the identification of a potent (Ki = 10 pM) peptidic HPA inhibitor, helianthamide, from the Caribbean sea anemone Stichodactyla helianthus. Active helianthamide was produced in Escherichia coli via secretion as a barnase fusion protein. X-ray crystallographic analysis of the complex of helianthamide with porcine pancreatic ?-amylase revealed that helianthamide adopts a ?-defensin fold and binds into and across the amylase active site, utilizing a contiguous YIYH inhibitory motif. Helianthamide represents the first of a novel class of glycosidase inhibitors and provides an unusual example of functional malleability of the ?-defensin fold, which is rarely seen outside of its traditional role in antimicrobial peptides.
Project description:Sea anemones' venom is rich in peptides acting on different biological targets, mainly on cytoplasmic membranes and ion channels. These animals are also a source of pancreatic ?-amylase inhibitors, which have the ability to control the glucose level in the blood and can be used for the treatment of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Recently we have isolated and characterized magnificamide (44 aa, 4770 Da), the major ?-amylase inhibitor of the sea anemone Heteractis magnifica mucus, which shares 84% sequence identity with helianthamide from Stichodactyla helianthus. Herein, we report some features in the action of a recombinant analog of magnificamide. The recombinant peptide inhibits porcine pancreatic and human saliva ?-amylases with Ki's equal to 0.17 ± 0.06 nM and 7.7 ± 1.5 nM, respectively, and does not show antimicrobial or channel modulating activities. We have concluded that the main function of magnificamide is the inhibition of ?-amylases; therefore, its functionally active recombinant analog is a promising agent for further studies as a potential drug candidate for the treatment of the type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Project description:Three defensin-like peptides (DLPs) were isolated from platypus venom and sequenced. One of these peptides, DLP-1, was synthesized chemically and its three-dimensional structure was determined using NMR spectroscopy. The main structural elements of this 42-residue peptide were an anti-parallel beta-sheet comprising residues 15-18 and 37-40 and a small 3(10) helix spanning residues 10-12. The overall three-dimensional fold is similar to that of beta-defensin-12, and similar to the sodium-channel neurotoxin ShI (Stichodactyla helianthus neurotoxin I). However, the side chains known to be functionally important in beta-defensin-12 and ShI are not conserved in DLP-1, suggesting that it has a different biological function. Consistent with this contention, we showed that DLP-1 possesses no anti-microbial properties and has no observable activity on rat dorsal-root-ganglion sodium-channel currents.
Project description:The venom of the male Australian duck-billed platypus contains a family of four polypeptides of appox. 5 kDa, which are referred to as defensin-like peptides (DLPs). They are unique in that their amino acid sequences have no significant similarities to those of any known peptides; however, the tertiary structure of one of them, DLP-1, has recently been shown to be similar to beta-defensin-12 and to the sodium neurotoxin peptide ShI (Stichodactyla helianthus neurotoxin I). Although DLPs are the major peptides in the platypus venom, little is known about their biological roles. In this study, we determined the three-dimensional structure of DLP-2 by NMR spectroscopy, with the aim of gaining insights into the natural function of the DLPs in platypus venom. The DLP-2 structure was found to incorporate a short helix that spans residues 9-12, and an antiparallel beta-sheet defined by residues 15-18 and 37-40. The overall fold and cysteine-pairing pattern of DLP-2 were found to be similar to those of DLP-1, and hence beta-defensin-12; however, the sequence similarities between the three molecules are relatively small. The distinct structural fold of the DLP-1, DLP-2, and beta-defensin-12 is based upon several key residues that include six cysteines. DLP-3 and DLP-4 are also likely to be folded similarly since they have high sequence similarity with DLP-2. The DLPs, and beta-defensin-12 may thus be grouped together into a class of polypeptide molecules which have a common or very similar global fold. The fact that the DLPs did not display antimicrobial, myotoxic, or cell-growth-promoting activities implies that the nature of the side chains in this group of peptides is likely to play an important role in defining the biological function(s).
Project description:The bovine pancreatic trypsin inhibitor (BPTI)-Kunitz-type protein ShPI-1 (UniProt: P31713) is the major protease inhibitor from the sea anemone Stichodactyla helianthus. This molecule is used in biotechnology and has biomedical potential related to its anti-parasitic effect. A pseudo wild-type variant, rShPI-1A, with additional residues at the N- and C-terminal, has a similar three-dimensional structure and comparable trypsin inhibition strength. Further insights into the structure-function relationship of rShPI-1A are required in order to obtain a better understanding of the mechanism of action of this sea anemone peptide. Using enzyme kinetics, we now investigated its activity against other serine proteases. Considering previous reports of bifunctional Kunitz-type proteins from anemones, we also studied the effect of rShPI-1A on voltage-gated potassium (Kv) channels. rShPI-1A binds Kv1.1, Kv1.2, and Kv1.6 channels with IC50 values in the nM range. Hence, ShPI-1 is the first member of the sea anemone type 2 potassium channel toxins family with tight-binding potency against several proteases and different Kv1 channels. In depth sequence analysis and structural comparison of ShPI-1 with similar protease inhibitors and Kv channel toxins showed apparent non-sequence conservation for known key residues. However, we detected two subtle patterns of coordinated amino acid substitutions flanking the conserved cysteine residues at the N- and C-terminal ends.
Project description:Sea anemones have been understudied as a source of peptide and protein toxins, with relatively few examined as a source of new pharmacological tools or therapeutic leads. This is surprising given the success of some anemone peptides that have been tested, such as the potassium channel blocker from Stichodactyla helianthus known as ShK. An analogue of this peptide, ShK-186, which is now known as dalazatide, has successfully completed Phase 1 clinical trials and is about to enter Phase 2 trials for the treatment of autoimmune diseases. One of the impediments to the exploitation of sea anemone toxins in the pharmaceutical industry has been the difficulty associated with their high-throughput discovery and isolation. Recent developments in multiple 'omic' technologies, including genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics, coupled with advanced bioinformatics, have opened the way for large-scale discovery of novel sea anemone toxins from a range of species. Many of these toxins will be useful pharmacological tools and some will hopefully prove to be valuable therapeutic leads.
Project description:It remains a challenge for the effective treatment of neuroinflammatory disease, including multiple sclerosis (MS), stroke, epilepsy, and Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. The voltage-gated potassium Kv1.3 channel is of interest, which is considered as a novel therapeutic target for treating neuroinflammatory disorders due to its crucial role in subsets of T lymphocytes as well as microglial cells. Toxic animals, such as sea anemones, scorpions, spiders, snakes, and cone snails, can produce a variety of toxins that act on the Kv1.3 channel. The Stichodactyla helianthus K+ channel blocking toxin (ShK) from the sea anemone S. helianthus is proved as a classical blocker of Kv1.3. One of the synthetic analogs ShK-186, being developed as a therapeutic for autoimmune diseases, has successfully completed first-in-man Phase 1 trials. In addition to addressing the recent progress on the studies underlying the pharmacological characterizations of ShK on MS, the review will also explore the possibility for clinical treatment of ShK-like Kv1.3 blocking polypeptides on other neuroinflammatory diseases.
Project description:Electrophysiological and pharmacological studies coupled with molecular identification have revealed a unique network of ion channels--Kv1.3, KCa3.1, CRAC (Orai1 + Stim1), TRPM7, Cl(swell)--in lymphocytes that initiates and maintains the calcium signaling cascade required for activation. The expression pattern of these channels changes during lymphocyte activation and differentiation, allowing the functional network to adapt during an immune response. The Kv1.3 channel is of interest because it plays a critical role in subsets of T and B lymphocytes implicated in autoimmune disorders. The ShK toxin from the sea anemone Stichodactyla helianthus is a potent blocker of Kv1.3. ShK-186, a synthetic analog of ShK, is being developed as a therapeutic for autoimmune diseases, and is scheduled to begin first-in-man phase-1 trials in 2011. This review describes the journey that has led to the development of ShK-186.
Project description:A new Cytolysin, termed as Gigantoxin-4, was isolated from the sea anemone Stichodactyla gigantea and found to be highly homologous with Cytolysin-3 (HMg III) from Heteractis magnifica, RTX-A from Radianthus macrodactylus, and Sticholysin-1 (St I) and Sticholysin-2 (St II) from Stichodactyla helianthus (homology 82%, 86%, 82% and 86% respectively). Its 20 N-terminal residues were identified and the full-length cDNA sequence was obtained by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Multiple sequence alignments with other Cytolysins of the actinoporin family clearly indicated that Gigantoxin-4 belongs to this protein family. SDS-PAGE electrophoresis showed that this new actinoporin had a molecular mass of about 19 kDa, and possessed a high hemolytic activity to human erythrocytes (HA(50)= 40 ng/ml), which was inhibited by pre-incubation with sphingomyelin (SM) or SM-cholesterol mixtures. Our in vivo experiments showed that Gigantoxin-4 had wide toxicity to the rat cardiovascular system and the respiratory system. A concentration of 30 ?g/kg Gigantoxin-4, i.v. produced a positive inotropic effect on the rat heart although final cardiovascular failure was inevitable, and 60 ?g/kg Gigantoxin-4 caused respiratory arrest rapidly resulting in rat death. HE staining indicated pathological changes in various organs and tissues after i.v. administration of Gigantoxin-4.
Project description:Elastase-like enzymes are involved in important diseases such as acute pancreatitis, chronic inflammatory lung diseases, and cancer. Structural insights into their interaction with specific inhibitors will contribute to the development of novel anti-elastase compounds that resist rapid oxidation and proteolysis. Proteinaceous Kunitz-type inhibitors homologous to the bovine pancreatic trypsin inhibitor (BPTI) provide a suitable scaffold, but the structural aspects of their interaction with elastase-like enzymes have not been elucidated. Here, we increased the selectivity of ShPI-1, a versatile serine protease inhibitor from the sea anemone Stichodactyla helianthus with high biomedical and biotechnological potential, toward elastase-like enzymes by substitution of the P1 residue (Lys(13)) with leucine. The variant (rShPI-1/K13L) exhibits a novel anti-porcine pancreatic elastase (PPE) activity together with a significantly improved inhibition of human neuthrophil elastase and chymotrypsin. The crystal structure of the PPE·rShPI-1/K13L complex determined at 2.0 Å resolution provided the first details of the canonical interaction between a BPTI-Kunitz-type domain and elastase-like enzymes. In addition to the essential impact of the variant P1 residue for complex stability, the interface is improved by increased contributions of the primary and secondary binding loop as compared with similar trypsin and chymotrypsin complexes. A comparison of the interaction network with elastase complexes of canonical inhibitors from the chelonian in family supports a key role of the P3 site in ShPI-1 in directing its selectivity against pancreatic and neutrophil elastases. Our results provide the structural basis for site-specific mutagenesis to further improve the binding affinity and/or direct the selectivity of BPTI-Kunitz-type inhibitors toward elastase-like enzymes.
Project description:The Trp111 to Cys mutant of sticholysin I, an actinoporin from Stichodactyla helianthus sea anemone, forms a homodimer via a disulfide bridge. The purified dimer is 193 times less hemolytic than the monomer. Ultracentrifugation, dynamic light scattering and size-exclusion chromatography demonstrate that monomers and dimers are the only independent oligomeric states encountered. Indeed, circular dichroism and fluorescence spectroscopies showed that Trp/Tyr residues participate in homodimerization and that the dimer is less thermostable than the monomer. A homodimer three-dimensional model was constructed and indicates that Trp147/Tyr137 are at the homodimer interface. Spectroscopy results validated the 3D-model and assigned 85° to the disulfide bridge dihedral angle responsible for dimerization. The homodimer model suggests that alterations in the membrane/carbohydrate-binding sites in one of the monomers, as result of dimerization, could explain the decrease in the homodimer ability to form pores.