Computational Design of Antiangiogenic Peptibody by Fusing Human IgG1 Fc Fragment and HRH Peptide: Structural Modeling, Energetic Analysis, and Dynamics Simulation of Its Binding Potency to VEGF Receptor.
ABSTRACT: Peptibodies represent a new class of biological therapeutics with combination of peptide activity and antibody-like properties. Previously, we discovered a novel peptide HRH that exhibited a dose-dependent angiogenesis-suppressing effect by targeting vascular endothelial growth factor receptors (VEGFRs). Here, we computationally designed an antiangiogenic peptibody, termed as PbHRH, by fusing the HRH peptide to human IgG1 Fc fragment using the first approved peptibody drug Romiplostim as template. The biologically active peptide of Romiplostim is similar with HRH peptide; both of them have close sequence lengths and can fold into a ?-helical conformation in free state. Molecular dynamics simulations revealed that the HRH functional domain is highly flexible, which is functionally independent of Fc fragment in the designed PbHRH peptibody. Subsequently, the intermolecular interactions between VEGFR-1 domain 2 (D2) and PbHRH were predicted, clustered and refined into three representatives. Conformational analysis and energetic evaluation unraveled that the PbHRH can adopt multiple binding modes to block the native VEGF-A binding site of VEGFR-1 D2 with its HRH functional domain, although the binding effectiveness of HRH segments in peptibody context seems to be moderately decreased relative to that of free HRH peptide. Overall, it is suggested that integrating HRH peptide into PbHRH peptibody does not promote the direct intermolecular interaction between VEGFR-1 D2 and HRH. Instead, the peptibody may indirectly help to improve the pharmacokinetic profile and bioavailability of HRH.
Project description:Fc fusion proteins and Fc fusion peptides or peptibodies are chimeric molecules composed of an active pharmacological protein or peptide and the Fc fragment of an immunoglobulin. The primary aim of this drug construct is to prolong the half-life of the active component. This molecular architecture is seen in drugs, such as etanercept, romiplostim, and the recombinant factor VIII (efmoroctocog alfa). A considerable number of Fc fusion proteins and peptibodies are currently in pre-clinical and clinical development. The isolated effect of the Fc fragment has been studied intensively during last years, but is still poorly understood in the clinical setting and in relation with the active drug and underlying disease. In this short review, we will propose new hypotheses of possible immunomodulatory functions of the Fc fragment of romiplostim in patients with primary immune thrombocytopenia.
Project description:Immune evasion is an emerging hallmark of cancer progression. However, functional studies to understand the role of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) in the tumor microenvironment are limited by the lack of available specific cell surface markers. We adapted a competitive peptide phage display platform to identify candidate peptides binding MDSCs specifically and generated peptide-Fc fusion proteins (peptibodies). In multiple tumor models, intravenous peptibody injection completely depleted blood, splenic and intratumoral MDSCs in tumor-bearing mice without affecting proinflammatory immune cell types, such as dendritic cells. Whereas control Gr-1-specific antibody primarily depleted granulocytic MDSCs, peptibodies depleted both granulocytic and monocytic MDSC subsets. Peptibody treatment was associated with inhibition of tumor growth in vivo, which was superior to that achieved with Gr-1-specific antibody. Immunoprecipitation of MDSC membrane proteins identified S100 family proteins as candidate targets. Our strategy may be useful to identify new diagnostic and therapeutic surface targets on rare cell subtypes, including human MDSCs.
Project description:AMG 386 is an investigational first-in-class peptide-Fc fusion protein (peptibody) that inhibits angiogenesis by preventing the interaction of angiopoietin-1 (Ang1) and Ang2 with their receptor, Tie2. Although the therapeutic value of blocking Ang2 has been shown in several models of tumorigenesis and angiogenesis, the potential benefit of Ang1 antagonism is less clear. To investigate the consequences of Ang1 neutralization, we have developed potent and selective peptibodies that inhibit the interaction between Ang1 and its receptor, Tie2. Although selective Ang1 antagonism has no independent effect in models of angiogenesis-associated diseases (cancer and diabetic retinopathy), it induces ovarian atrophy in normal juvenile rats and inhibits ovarian follicular angiogenesis in a hormone-induced ovulation model. Surprisingly, the activity of Ang1 inhibitors seems to be unmasked in some disease models when combined with Ang2 inhibitors, even in the context of concurrent vascular endothelial growth factor inhibition. Dual inhibition of Ang1 and Ang2 using AMG 386 or a combination of Ang1- and Ang2-selective peptibodies cooperatively suppresses tumor xenograft growth and ovarian follicular angiogenesis; however, Ang1 inhibition fails to augment the suppressive effect of Ang2 inhibition on tumor endothelial cell proliferation, corneal angiogenesis, and oxygen-induced retinal angiogenesis. In no case was Ang1 inhibition shown to (a) confer superior activity to Ang2 inhibition or dual Ang1/2 inhibition or (b) antagonize the efficacy of Ang2 inhibition. These results imply that Ang1 plays a context-dependent role in promoting postnatal angiogenesis and that dual Ang1/2 inhibition is superior to selective Ang2 inhibition for suppression of angiogenesis in some postnatal settings.
Project description:Tumor angiogenesis is dependent on growth factors, and inhibition of their pathways is one of the promising strategies in cancer therapy. However, resistance to single pathway has been a great concern in clinical trials so that it necessitates multiple targetable factors for developing tumor angiogenesis inhibitors. Moreover, the strategy of Fc fusion protein is an attractive platform for novel peptide agents, which gains increasing importance with FDA approval because of better immunogenicity and stability. Here, we applied the Fc fusion protein concept to bFGF/VEGFA pathways and designed a multi-epitope Peptibody with immunogenic peptides derived from human bFGF and VEGFA sequences. Immunization with Peptibody could elicit high-titer anti-bFGF and anti-VEGFA antibodies, activate T cells, and induce Th1/Th2-type cytokines. In in vitro experiments, the isolated anti-Peptibody antibody inhibited the proliferation and migration of A549 cells and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) by decreasing the MAPK/Akt/mTOR signal pathways. In the murine tumor model, pre-immunization with Peptibody suppressed the tumor growth and neovascularization of lung cancer by decreasing the production of bFGF/VEGFA/PDGF, the MAPK/Akt/mTOR signal pathways, and the activation of suppressive cells in tumor sites. Further, the biological characterizations of the recombinant Peptibody were investigated systematically, including protein primary structure, secondary structure, stability, and toxicity. Collectively, the results highlighted the strategy of bFGF/VEGFA pathways and Fc fusion protein in suppressing tumor progression and angiogenesis, which emphasized the potential of multiple targetable factors for producing enduring clinical responses in tumor patients.
Project description:The aim of this study is to investigate the capability of an apoA-I mimetic with multiple amphipathic helices to form HDL-like particles in vitro and in vivo. To generate multivalent helices and to track the peptide mimetic, we have constructed a peptibody by fusing two tandem repeats of 4F peptide to the C terminus of a murine IgG Fc fragment. The resultant peptidbody, mFc-2X4F, dose-dependently promoted cholesterol efflux in vitro, and the efflux potency was superior to monomeric 4F peptide. Like apoA-I, mFc-2X4F stabilized ABCA1 in J774A.1 and THP1 cells. The peptibody formed larger HDL particles when incubated with cultured cells compared with those by apoA-I. Interestingly, when administered to mice, mFc-2X4F increased both pre-β and α-1 HDL subfractions. The lipid-bound mFc-2X4F was mostly in the α-1 migrating subfraction. Most importantly, mFc-2X4F and apoA-I were found to coexist in the same HDL particles formed in vivo. These data suggest that the apoA-I mimetic peptibody is capable of mimicking apoA-I to generate HDL particles. The peptibody and apoA-I may work cooperatively to generate larger HDL particles in vivo, either at the cholesterol efflux stage and/or via fusion of HDL particles that were generated by the peptibody and apoA-I individually.
Project description:Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), one of the most important angiogenic factors, plays an essential role in both physiological and pathological angiogenesis through binding to VEGF receptors (VEGFRs). Here we report a novel peptide designated HRHTKQRHTALH (peptide HRH), which was isolated from the Ph.D. -12 phage display library using VEGFR-Fc fusion protein as the bait. This peptide was found to dose-dependently inhibit the proliferation of human umbilical vein endothelial cells stimulated by VEGF. The anti-angiogenesis effect of the HRH peptide was further confirmed in vivo using the chick chorioallantoic membrane assay, which was also dose-dependent. Besides, peptide HRH was proved to inhibit corneal neovascularization in an alkali-burnt rat corneal model and a suture-induced rat corneal model. Taken together, these findings suggest that the HRH peptide can inhibit angiogenesis both in vitro and in vivo. Consequently, the HRHTKQRHTALH peptide might be a promising lead peptide for the development of potential angiogenic inhibitors.
Project description:To investigate the mechanisms of clearance of AMG 386, an investigational recombinant peptide-Fc fusion protein (peptibody) that blocks tumor angiogenesis by neutralizing the interaction between angiopoietin-1 and -2 and the Tie2 receptor.The role of the neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn) in AMG 386 clearance was assessed in wild-type and FcRn-knockout mice; the roles of the spleen and kidneys were assessed in splenectomized and 5/6th nephrectomized rats, respectively, compared with sham-operated rats. Animals were administered AMG 386 as a single intravenous dose of 3 or 10 mg/kg. Blood samples for pharmacokinetic analysis were collected periodically throughout a 504-hour postdose period.Compared with wild-type mice, AMG 386 clearance in FcRn-knockout mice was 18-fold faster at the 3-mg/kg dose (FcRn knockout, 13.2 mL/h/kg; wild-type, 0.728 mL/h/kg) and 14-fold faster at the 10-mg/kg dose (FcRn knockout, 10.7 mL/h/kg; wild-type, 0.777 mL/h/kg). Clearance in nephrectomized rats was slower than in sham-operated rats at both the 3-mg/kg dose (nephrectomized, 1.23 mL/h/kg; sham-operated, 1.75 mL/h/kg) and the 10-mg/kg dose (nephrectomized, 1.14 mL/h/kg; sham-operated, 1.65 mL/h/kg). Splenectomy had no apparent effect on the pharmacokinetics of AMG 386.The FcRn is integral to maintaining circulating levels of AMG 386 in mice. Renal clearance contributed approximately 30% to total AMG 386 clearance in rats.
Project description:Fibroblast growth factor receptors (FGFRs) are emerging targets for directed cancer therapy. Presented here is a new FGFR1-targeting conjugate, the peptibodyF2, which employs peptibody, a fusion of peptide and the Fc fragment of human IgG as a selective targeting agent and drug carrier. Short peptide based on FGF2 sequence was used to construct a FGFR1-targeting peptibody. We have shown that this peptide ensures specific delivery of peptibodyF2 into FGFR1-expressing cells. In order to use peptibodyF2 as a delivery vehicle for cytotoxic drugs, we have conjugated it with MMAE, a drug widely used in antibody-drug conjugates for targeted therapy. Resulting conjugate shows high and specific cytotoxicity towards FGFR1-positive cells, i.e., squamous cell lung carcinoma NCI-H520, while remaining non-toxic for FGFR1-negative cells. Such peptibody-drug conjugate can serve as a basis for development of therapy for tumors with overexpressed or malfunctioning FGFRs.
Project description:Vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGFs) regulate blood and lymph vessel formation through activation of three receptor tyrosine kinases, VEGFR-1, -2, and -3. The extracellular domain of VEGF receptors consists of seven immunoglobulin homology domains, which, upon ligand binding, promote receptor dimerization. Dimerization initiates transmembrane signaling, which activates the intracellular tyrosine kinase domain of the receptor. VEGF-C stimulates lymphangiogenesis and contributes to pathological angiogenesis via VEGFR-3. However, proteolytically processed VEGF-C also stimulates VEGFR-2, the predominant transducer of signals required for physiological and pathological angiogenesis. Here we present the crystal structure of VEGF-C bound to the VEGFR-2 high-affinity-binding site, which consists of immunoglobulin homology domains D2 and D3. This structure reveals a symmetrical 22 complex, in which left-handed twisted receptor domains wrap around the 2-fold axis of VEGF-C. In the VEGFs, receptor specificity is determined by an N-terminal alpha helix and three peptide loops. Our structure shows that two of these loops in VEGF-C bind to VEGFR-2 subdomains D2 and D3, while one interacts primarily with D3. Additionally, the N-terminal helix of VEGF-C interacts with D2, and the groove separating the two VEGF-C monomers binds to the D2/D3 linker. VEGF-C, unlike VEGF-A, does not bind VEGFR-1. We therefore created VEGFR-1/VEGFR-2 chimeric proteins to further study receptor specificity. This biochemical analysis, together with our structural data, defined VEGFR-2 residues critical for the binding of VEGF-A and VEGF-C. Our results provide significant insights into the structural features that determine the high affinity and specificity of VEGF/VEGFR interactions.
Project description:Chemokines and their receptors play critical roles in the progression of autoimmunity and inflammation. Typically, multiple chemokines are involved in the development of these pathologies. Indeed, targeting single chemokines or chemokine receptors has failed to achieve significant clinical benefits in treating autoimmunity and inflammation. Moreover, the binding of host atypical chemokine receptors to multiple chemokines as well as the binding of chemokine-binding proteins secreted by various pathogens can serve as a strategy for controlling inflammation. In this work, promiscuous chemokine-binding peptides that could bind and inhibit multiple inflammatory chemokines, such as CCL2, CCL5, and CXCL9/10/11, were selected from phage display libraries. These peptides were cloned into human mutated immunoglobulin Fc-protein fusions (peptibodies). The peptibodies BKT120Fc and BKT130Fc inhibited the ability of inflammatory chemokines to induce the adhesion and migration of immune cells. Furthermore, BKT120Fc and BKT130Fc also showed a significant inhibition of disease progression in a variety of animal models for autoimmunity and inflammation. Developing a novel class of antagonists that can control the courses of diseases by selectively blocking multiple chemokines could be a novel way of generating effective therapeutics.