Structural Basis of the Differential Binding of Engineered Knottins to Integrins ?V?3 and ?5?1.
ABSTRACT: Targeting both integrins ?V?3 and ?5?1 simultaneously appears to be more effective in cancer therapy than targeting each one alone. The structural requirements for bispecific binding of ligand to integrins have not been fully elucidated. RGD-containing knottin 2.5F binds selectively to ?V?3 and ?5?1, whereas knottin 2.5D is ?V?3 specific. To elucidate the structural basis of this selectivity, we determined the structures of 2.5F and 2.5D as apo proteins and in complex with ?V?3, and compared their interactions with integrins using molecular dynamics simulations. These studies show that 2.5D engages ?V?3 by an induced fit, but conformational selection of a flexible RGD loop accounts for high-affinity selective binding of 2.5F to both integrins. The contrasting binding of the highly flexible low-affinity linear RGD peptides to multiple integrins suggests that a "Goldilocks zone" of conformational flexibility of the RGD loop in 2.5F underlies its selective binding promiscuity to integrins.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The Ecballium elaterium trypsin inhibitor (EETI-II), a 28-amino acid member of the knottin family of peptides, contains three interwoven disulfide bonds that form multiple solvent-exposed loops. Previously, the trypsin binding loop of EETI-II has been engineered to confer binding to several alternative molecular targets. Here, EETI-II was further explored as a molecular scaffold for polypeptide engineering by evaluating the ability to mutate two of its structurally adjacent loops. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:Yeast surface display was used to engineer an EETI-II mutant containing two separate integrin binding epitopes. The resulting knottin peptide was comprised of 38 amino acids, and contained 11- and 10-residue loops compared to wild-type EETI-II, which naturally contains 6- and 5-residue loops, respectively. This knottin peptide bound to ?(v)?(3) and ?(v)?(5) integrins with affinities in the low nanomolar range, but bound weakly to the related integrins ?(5)?(1) and ?(iib)?(3). In addition, the engineered knottin peptide inhibited tumor cell adhesion to vitronectin, an extracellular matrix protein that binds to ?(v)?(3) and ?(v)?(5) integrins. A (64)Cu radiolabeled version of this knottin peptide demonstrated moderate serum stability and excellent tumor-to-muscle and tumor-to-blood ratios by positron emission tomography imaging in human tumor xenograft models. Tumor uptake was ?3-5% injected dose per gram (%ID/g) at one hour post injection, with rapid clearance of probe through the kidneys. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:We demonstrated that multiple loops of EETI-II can be mutated to bind with high affinity to tumor-associated integrin receptors. The resulting knottin peptide contained 21 (>50%) non-native amino acids within two mutated loops, indicating that extended loop lengths and sequence diversity were well tolerated within the EETI-II scaffold. A radiolabeled version of this knottin peptide showed promise for non-invasive imaging of integrin expression in living subjects. However, reduced serum and metabolic stability were observed compared to an engineered integrin-binding EETI-II knottin peptide containing only one mutated loop.
Project description:Integrin α5β1 binds to an Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) motif in its ligand fibronectin. We report high-resolution crystal structures of a four-domain α5β1 headpiece fragment, alone or with RGD peptides soaked into crystals, and RGD peptide affinity measurements. The headpiece crystallizes in a closed conformation essentially identical to that seen previously for α5β1 complexed with a Fab that allosterically inhibits ligand binding by stabilizing the closed conformation. Soaking experiments show that binding of cyclic RGD peptide with 20-fold higher affinity than a linear RGD peptide induces conformational change in the β1-subunit βI domain to a state that is intermediate between closed (low affinity) and open (high affinity). In contrast, binding of a linear RGD peptide induces no shape shifting. However, linear peptide binding induces shape shifting when Ca(2+) is depleted during soaking. Ca(2+) bound to the adjacent to metal ion-dependent adhesion site (ADMIDAS), at the locus of shape shifting, moves and decreases in occupancy, correlating with an increase in affinity for RGD measured when Ca(2+) is depleted. The results directly demonstrate that Ca(2+) binding to the ADMIDAS stabilizes integrins in the low-affinity, closed conformation. Comparisons in affinity between four-domain and six-domain headpiece constructs suggest that flexible integrin leg domains contribute to conformational equilibria. High-resolution views of the hybrid domain interface with the plexin-semaphorin-integrin (PSI) domain in different orientations show a ball-and-socket joint with a hybrid domain Arg side chain that rocks in a PSI domain socket lined with carbonyl oxygens.
Project description:The 10th type III module of fibronectin possesses a beta-sandwich structure consisting of seven beta-strands (A-G) that are arranged in two antiparallel sheets. It mediates cell adhesion to surfaces via its integrin binding motif, Arg78, Gly79, and Asp80 (RGD), which is placed at the apex of the loop connecting beta-strands F and G. Steered molecular dynamics simulations in which tension is applied to the protein's terminal ends reveal that the beta-strand G is the first to break away from the module on forced unfolding whereas the remaining fold maintains its structural integrity. The separation of strand G from the remaining fold results in a gradual shortening of the distance between the apex of the RGD-containing loop and the module surface, which potentially reduces the loop's accessibility to surface-bound integrins. The shortening is followed by a straightening of the RGD-loop from a tight beta-turn into a linear conformation, which suggests a further decrease of affinity and selectivity to integrins. The RGD-loop therefore is located strategically to undergo strong conformational changes in the early stretching stages of the module and thus constitutes a mechanosensitive control of ligand recognition.
Project description:Coxsackievirus A9 (CVA9) is an important pathogen of the Picornaviridae family. It utilizes cellular receptors from the integrin ?v family for binding to its host cells prior to entry and genome release. Among the integrins tested, it has the highest affinity for ?v?6, which recognizes the arginine-glycine-aspartic acid (RGD) loop present on the C terminus of viral capsid protein, VP1. As the atomic model of CVA9 lacks the RGD loop, we used surface plasmon resonance, electron cryo-microscopy, and image reconstruction to characterize the capsid-integrin interactions and the conformational changes on genome release. We show that the integrin binds to the capsid with nanomolar affinity and that the binding of integrin to the virion does not induce uncoating, thereby implying that further steps are required for release of the genome. Electron cryo-tomography and single-particle image reconstruction revealed variation in the number and conformation of the integrins bound to the capsid, with the integrin footprint mapping close to the predicted site for the exposed RGD loop on VP1. Comparison of empty and RNA-filled capsid reconstructions showed that the capsid undergoes conformational changes when the genome is released, so that the RNA-capsid interactions in the N termini of VP1 and VP4 are lost, VP4 is removed, and the capsid becomes more porous, as has been reported for poliovirus 1, human rhinovirus 2, enterovirus 71, and coxsackievirus A7. These results are important for understanding the structural basis of integrin binding to CVA9 and the molecular events leading to CVA9 cell entry and uncoating.
Project description:Carefully soaking crystals with Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) peptides, we captured eight distinct RGD-bound conformations of the ?IIb?3 integrin headpiece. Starting from the closed ?I domain conformation, we saw six intermediate ?I conformations and finally the fully open ?I with the hybrid domain swung out in the crystal lattice. The ?1-?1 backbone that hydrogen bonds to the Asp side chain of RGD was the first element to move followed by adjacent to metal ion-dependent adhesion site Ca(2+), ?1 helix, ?1' helix, ?6-?7 loop, ?7 helix, and hybrid domain. We define in atomic detail how conformational change was transmitted over long distances in integrins, 40 Å from the ligand binding site to the opposite end of the ?I domain and 80 Å to the far end of the hybrid domain. During these movements, RGD slid in its binding groove toward ?IIb, and its Arg side chain became ordered. RGD concentration requirements in soaking suggested a >200-fold higher affinity after opening. The thermodynamic cycle shows how higher affinity pays the energetic cost of opening.
Project description:A structure of adenovirus type 12 (HAdV12) complexed with a soluble form of integrin alphavbeta5 was determined by cryo-electron microscopy (cryoEM) image reconstruction. Subnanometer resolution (8 A) was achieved for the icosahedral capsid with moderate resolution (27 A) for integrin density above each penton base. Modeling with alphavbeta3 and alpha(IIb)beta3 crystal structures indicates that a maximum of four integrins fit over the pentameric penton base. The close spacing (approximately 60 A) of the RGD protrusions on penton base precludes integrin binding in the same orientation to neighboring RGD sites. Flexible penton-base RGD loops and incoherent averaging of bound integrin molecules explain the moderate resolution observed for the integrin density. A model with four integrins bound to a penton base suggests that integrin might extend one RGD-loop in the direction that could induce a conformational change in the penton base involving clockwise untwisting of the pentamer. A global conformational change in penton base could be one step on the way to the release of Ad vertex proteins during cell entry. Comparison of the cryoEM structure with bent and extended models for the integrin ectodomain reveals that integrin adopts an extended conformation when bound to the Ad penton base, a multivalent viral ligand. These findings shed further light on the structural basis of integrin binding to biologically relevant ligands, as well as on the molecular events leading to HAdV cell entry.
Project description:Cell adhesion is studied on multivalent knottins, displaying RGD ligands with a high affinity for integrin receptors, that are assembled on CB-methylviologen-modified surfaces. The multivalency in the knottins stems from the number of tryptophan amino acid moieties, between 0 and 4, that can form a heteroternary complex with cucurbituril (CB) and surface-tethered methylviologen (MV2+). The binding affinity of the knottins with CB and MV2+ surfaces was evaluated using surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy. Specific binding occurred, and the affinity increased with the valency of tryptophans on the knottin. Additionally, increased multilayer formation was observed, attributed to homoternary complex formation between tryptophan residues of different knottins and CB. Thus, we were able to control the surface coverage of the knottins by valency and concentration. Cell experiments with mouse myoblast (C2C12) cells on the self-assembled knottin surfaces showed specific integrin recognition by the RGD-displaying knottins. Moreover, cells were observed to elongate more on the supramolecular knottin surfaces with a higher valency, and in addition, more pronounced focal adhesion formation was observed on the higher-valency knottin surfaces. We attribute this effect to the enhanced coverage and the enhanced affinity of the knottins in their interaction with the CB surface. Collectively, these results are promising for the development of biomaterials including knottins via CB ternary complexes for tunable interactions with cells.
Project description:There is a critical need for compounds that target cell surface integrin receptors for applications in cancer therapy and diagnosis. We used directed evolution to engineer the Ecballium elaterium trypsin inhibitor (EETI-II), a knottin peptide from the squash family of protease inhibitors, as a new class of integrin-binding agents. We generated yeast-displayed libraries of EETI-II by substituting its 6-amino acid trypsin binding loop with 11-amino acid loops containing the Arg-Gly-Asp integrin binding motif and randomized flanking residues. These libraries were screened in a high-throughput manner by fluorescence-activated cell sorting to identify mutants that bound to alpha(v)beta(3) integrin. Select peptides were synthesized and were shown to compete for natural ligand binding to integrin receptors expressed on the surface of U87MG glioblastoma cells with half-maximal inhibitory concentration values of 10-30 nM. Receptor specificity assays demonstrated that engineered knottin peptides bind to both alpha(v)beta(3) and alpha(v)beta(5) integrins with high affinity. Interestingly, we also discovered a peptide that binds with high affinity to alpha(v)beta(3), alpha(v)beta(5), and alpha(5)beta(1) integrins. This finding has important clinical implications because all three of these receptors can be coexpressed on tumors. In addition, we showed that engineered knottin peptides inhibit tumor cell adhesion to the extracellular matrix protein vitronectin, and in some cases fibronectin, depending on their integrin binding specificity. Collectively, these data validate EETI-II as a scaffold for protein engineering, and highlight the development of unique integrin-binding peptides with potential for translational applications in cancer.
Project description:Integrins are important therapeutic targets. However, current RGD-based anti-integrin drugs are also partial agonists, inducing conformational changes that trigger potentially fatal immune reactions and paradoxical cell adhesion. Here we describe the first crystal structure of ?V?3 bound to a physiologic ligand, the tenth type III RGD domain of wild-type fibronectin (wtFN10), or to a high-affinity mutant (hFN10) shown here to act as a pure antagonist. Comparison of these structures revealed a central ?-? interaction between Trp1496 in the RGD-containing loop of hFN10 and Tyr122 of the ?3 subunit that blocked conformational changes triggered by wtFN10 and trapped hFN10-bound ?V?3 in an inactive conformation. Removing the Trp1496 or Tyr122 side chains or reorienting Trp1496 away from Tyr122 converted hFN10 into a partial agonist. These findings offer new insights into the mechanism of integrin activation and a basis for the design of RGD-based pure antagonists.
Project description:Molecules that target and inhibit ?v?3, ?v?5, and ?5?1 integrins have generated great interest because of the role of these receptors in mediating angiogenesis and metastasis. Attempts to increase the binding affinity and hence the efficacy of integrin inhibitors by dimerization have been marginally effective. In the present work, we achieved this goal by using oxime-based chemical conjugation to synthesize dimers of integrin-binding cystine knot (knottin) miniproteins with low-picomolar binding affinity to tumor cells. A non-natural amino acid containing an aminooxy side chain was introduced at different locations within a knottin monomer and reacted with dialdehyde-containing cross-linkers of different lengths to create knottin dimers with varying molecular topologies. Dimers cross-linked through an aminooxy functional group located near the middle of the protein exhibited higher apparent binding affinity to integrin-expressing tumor cells compared with dimers cross-linked through an aminooxy group near the C-terminus. In contrast, the cross-linker length had no effect on the integrin binding affinity. A chemical-based dimerization strategy was critical, as knottin dimers created through genetic fusion to a bivalent antibody domain exhibited only modest improvement (less than 5-fold) in tumor cell binding relative to the knottin monomer. The best oxime-conjugated knottin dimer achieved an unprecedented 150-fold increase in apparent binding affinity over the knottin monomer. Also, this dimer bound 3650-fold stronger and inhibited tumor cell migration and proliferation compared with cilengitide, an integrin-targeting peptidomimetic that performed poorly in recent clinical trials, suggesting promise for further therapeutic development.