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Incorporation of noncoded amino acids into the N-terminal domain 1–47 of hirudin yields a highly potent and selective thrombin inhibitor

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 October 1999

VINCENZO DE FILIPPIS
Affiliation:
CRIBI Biotechnology Center and Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Padua, Viale G. Colombo 3, 35121 Padua, Italy
ILARIA RUSSO
Affiliation:
CRIBI Biotechnology Center and Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Padua, Viale G. Colombo 3, 35121 Padua, Italy
ALESSANDRO VINDIGNI
Affiliation:
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Washington University, School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110
ENRICO DI CERA
Affiliation:
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Washington University, School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110
STEFANO SALMASO
Affiliation:
CRIBI Biotechnology Center and Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Padua, Viale G. Colombo 3, 35121 Padua, Italy
ANGELO FONTANA
Affiliation:
CRIBI Biotechnology Center and Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Padua, Viale G. Colombo 3, 35121 Padua, Italy
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Abstract

Hirudin is an anticoagulant polypeptide isolated from a medicinal leech that inhibits thrombin with extraordinary potency (Kd = 0.2–1.0 pM) and selectivity. Hirudin is composed of a compact N-terminal region (residues 1–47, cross-linked by three disulfide bridges) that binds to the active site of thrombin, and a flexible C-terminal tail (residues 48–64) that interacts with the exosite I of the enzyme. To minimize the sequence of hirudin able to bind thrombin and also to improve its therapeutic profile, several N-terminal fragments have been prepared as potential anticoagulants. However, the practical use of these fragments has been impaired by their relatively poor affinity for the enzyme, as given by the increased value of the dissociation constant (Kd) of the corresponding thrombin complexes (Kd = 30–400 nM). The aim of the present study is to obtain a derivative of the N-terminal domain 1–47 of hirudin displaying enhanced inhibitory potency for thrombin compared to the natural product. In this view, we have synthesized an analogue of fragment 1–47 of hirudin HM2 in which Val1 has been replaced by tert-butylglycine, Ser2 by Arg, and Tyr3 by β-naphthylalanine, to give the BugArgNal analogue. The results of chemical and conformational characterization indicate that the synthetic peptide is able to fold efficiently with the correct disulfide topology (Cys6–Cys14, Cys16–Cys28, Cys22–Cys37), while retaining the conformational properties of the natural fragment. Thrombin inhibition data indicate that the effects of amino acid replacements are perfectly additive if compared to the singly substituted analogues (De Filippis V, Quarzago D, Vindigni A, Di Cera E, Fontana A, 1998, Biochemistry 37:13507–13515), yielding a molecule that inhibits the fast or slow form of thrombin by 2,670- and 6,818-fold more effectively than the natural fragment, and that binds exclusively at the active site of the enzyme with an affinity (Kd,fast = 15.4 pM, Kd,slow = 220 pM) comparable to that of full-length hirudin (Kd,fast = 0.2 pM, Kd,slow = 5.5 pM). Moreover, BugArgNal displays absolute selectivity for thrombin over the other physiologically important serine proteases trypsin, plasmin, factor Xa, and tissue plasminogen activator, up to the highest concentration of inhibitor tested (10 μM).

Type
FOR THE RECORD
Copyright
© 1999 The Protein Society

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Incorporation of noncoded amino acids into the N-terminal domain 1–47 of hirudin yields a highly potent and selective thrombin inhibitor
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Incorporation of noncoded amino acids into the N-terminal domain 1–47 of hirudin yields a highly potent and selective thrombin inhibitor
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Incorporation of noncoded amino acids into the N-terminal domain 1–47 of hirudin yields a highly potent and selective thrombin inhibitor
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