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|Title:||Development of novel cyclic peptides as pro-apoptotic agents||Authors:||Brindisi, Margherita
Nathwani, Seema M
Zisterer, Daniela M
Williams, Clive D
|Keywords:||Anticancer agents; Bcl-2; Confocal microscopy; Cyclic peptides; FACS analysis; Molecular modeling; NMR studies; Nur77; Peptidomimetics; Pro-apoptotic agents; Tubulin||Issue Date:||2016||Project:||None||Journal:||EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF MEDICINAL CHEMISTRY||Abstract:||
Our recent finding that paclitaxel behaves as a peptidomimetic of the endogenous protein Nur77 inspired the design of two peptides (PEP1 and PEP2) reproducing the effects of paclitaxel on Bcl-2 and tubulin, proving the peptidomimetic nature of paclitaxel. Starting from these peptide-hits, we herein describe the synthesis and the biological investigation of linear and cyclic peptides structurally related to PEP2. While linear peptides (2a,b, 3a,b, 4, 6a-f) were found inactive in cell-based assays, biological analysis revealed a pro-apoptotic effect for most of the cyclic peptides (5a-g). Cellular permeability of 5a (and also of 2a,b) on HL60 cells was assessed through confocal microscopy analysis. Further cellular studies on a panel of leukemic cell lines (HL60, Jurkat, MEC, EBVB) and solid tumor cell lines (breast cancer MCF-7 cells, human melanoma A375 and 501Mel cells, and murine melanoma B16F1 cells) confirmed the pro-apoptotic effect of the cyclic peptides. Cell cycle analysis revealed that treatment with 5a, 5c, 5d or 5f resulted in an increase in the number of cells in the sub-G0/G1 peak. Direct interaction with tubulin (turbidimetric assay) and with microtubules (immunostaining experiments) was assessed in vitro for the most promising compounds.
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