5 years ago

Conformationally constrained peptides target the allosteric kinase dimer interface and inhibit EGFR activation

Conformationally constrained peptides target the allosteric kinase dimer interface and inhibit EGFR activation
Although EGFR is a highly sought-after drug target, inhibitor resistance remains a challenge. As an alternative strategy for kinase inhibition, we sought to explore whether allosteric activation mechanisms could effectively be disrupted. The kinase domain of EGFR forms an atypical asymmetric dimer via head-to-tail interactions and serves as a requisite for kinase activation. The kinase dimer interface is primarily formed by the H-helix derived from one kinase monomer and the small lobe of the second monomer. We hypothesized that a peptide designed to resemble the binding surface of the H-helix may serve as an effective disruptor of EGFR dimerization and activation. A library of constrained peptides was designed to mimic the H-helix of the kinase domain and interface side chains were optimized using molecular modeling. Peptides were constrained using peptide “stapling” to structurally reinforce an alpha-helical conformation. Peptide stapling was demonstrated to notably enhance cell permeation of an H-helix derived peptide termed EHBI2. Using cell-based assays, EHBI2 was further shown to significantly reduce EGFR activity as measured by EGFR phosphorylation and phosphorylation of the downstream signaling substrate Akt. To our knowledge, this is the first H-helix-based compound targeting the asymmetric interface of the kinase domain that can successfully inhibit EGFR activation and signaling. This study presents a novel, alternative targeting site for allosteric inhibition of EGFR.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0968089617314670

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