5 years ago

Synthesis of a Bifunctional Peptide Inhibitor–IgG1 Fc Fusion That Suppresses Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis

Synthesis of a Bifunctional Peptide Inhibitor–IgG1 Fc Fusion That Suppresses Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis
Thomas J. Tolbert, Paul Kiptoo, Zahra Khedri, Teruna J. Siahaan, Derek R. White
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurodegenerative disease that is estimated to affect over 2.3 million people worldwide. The exact cause for this disease is unknown but involves immune system attack and destruction of the myelin protein surrounding the neurons in the central nervous system. One promising class of compounds that selectively prevent the activation of immune cells involved in the pathway leading to myelin destruction are bifunctional peptide inhibitors (BPIs). Treatment with BPIs reduces neurodegenerative symptoms in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a mouse model of MS. In this work, as an effort to further improve the bioactivity of BPIs, BPI peptides were conjugated to the N- and C-termini of the fragment crystallizable (Fc) region of the human IgG1 antibody. Initially, the two peptides were conjugated to IgG1 Fc using recombinant DNA technology. However, expression in yeast resulted in low yields and one of the peptides being heavily proteolyzed. To circumvent this problem, the poorly expressed peptide was instead produced by solid phase peptide synthesis and conjugated enzymatically using a sortase-mediated ligation. The sortase-mediated method showed near-complete conjugation yield as observed by SDS-PAGE and mass spectrometry in small-scale reactions. This method was scaled up to obtain sufficient quantities for testing the BPI-Fc fusion in mice induced with EAE. Compared to the PBS-treated control, mice treated with the BPI-Fc fusion showed significantly reduced disease symptoms, did not experience weight loss, and showed reduced de-myelination. These results demonstrate that the BPI peptides were highly active at suppressing EAE when conjugated to the large Fc scaffold in this manner.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.bioconjchem.7b00175

DOI: 10.1021/acs.bioconjchem.7b00175

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