A potent peptide as adiponectin receptor 1 agonist to against fibrosis
Fibrotic diseases have become a major cause of death in the developed world. AdipoR1 agonists are potent inhibitors of fibrotic responses. Here, we focused on the in silico identification of novel AdipoR1 peptide agonists. A homology model was constructed to predict the 3D structure of AdipoR1. By docking to known active peptides, the putative active site of the model was further explored. A virtual screening study was then carried out with a set of manually designed peptides using molecular docking. Peptides with high docking scores were then evaluated for their anti-fibrotic properties. The data indicated that the novel peptide Pep70 significantly inhibited the proliferation of hepatic stellate cells (HSC) and NIH-3T3 cells (18.33% and 27.80%) and resulted in favouring cell-cycle arrest through increasing the accumulation of cells in the G0/G1 phase by 17.08% and 15.86%, thereby reducing the cell population in the G2/M phase by 11.25% and 15.95%, respectively. Additionally, Pep70 exhibited the most marked suppression on the expression of α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), collagen type I alpha1 (COL1A1) and TGF-β1. Therefore, the peptide Pep70 was ultimately identified as an inhibitor of fibrotic responses and as a potential AdipoR1 agonist.
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