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J Biol Chem. 2005 Feb 11;280(6):4009-12. Epub 2004 Nov 18.

Site-specific disulfide capture of agonist and antagonist peptides on the C5a receptor.

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  • 1Sunesis Pharmaceuticals Inc., South San Francisco, California 94080, USA.

Abstract

The manner by which peptidic ligands bind and activate their corresponding G-protein-coupled receptors is not well understood. One of the better characterized peptidic ligands is the chemotactic cytokine complement factor 5a (C5a), a 74-amino acid helical bundle. Previous studies showed 6-mer peptide analogs derived from the C terminus of the C5a ligand can bind to C5aR (Kd values approximately 0.1-1 microm) and either agonize or antagonize the receptor (Gerber, B. O., Meng, E. C., Dotsch, V., Baranski, T. J., and Bourne, H. R. (2001) J. Biol. Chem. 276, 3394-3400). Here, we provide direct biochemical data using disulfide trapping to support a model that these peptides bind within a transmembrane helical triad formed by alpha-helices III, VI, and VII. We show that the three amino acids on the C terminus of the peptide analogs bind too weakly to exert a functional effect themselves. However, when a cysteine residue is placed on their N terminus they can be trapped by disulfide interchange to specific cysteines in helix III and VI and not to other cysteines, engineered into the C5aR. The trapped peptides function as agonists or partial antagonists, similar to the non-covalent parents from which they were derived. These data help to further refine the binding mode for C5a to the C5aR and suggest an approach and a binding site that may be applicable to studying other peptide binding receptors.

PMID:
15550394
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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