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Biochem J. 2001 Mar 1;354(Pt 2):233-42.

Anginex, a designed peptide that inhibits angiogenesis.

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Tumor Angiogenesis Laboratory, Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital Maastricht, P.O. Box 5800, 6202 AZ Maastricht, The Netherlands.


Novel beta-sheet-forming peptide 33-mers, betapep peptides, have been designed by using a combination approach employing basic folding principles and incorporating short sequences from the beta-sheet domains of anti-angiogenic proteins. One of these designed peptides (betapep-25), named anginex, was observed to be potently anti-angiogenic. Anginex specifically inhibits vascular endothelial cell proliferation and induces apoptosis in these cells, as shown by flow-cytometric detection of sub-diploid cells, TUNEL (terminal deoxyribonucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP-nick-end labelling) analysis and cell morphology. Anginex also inhibits endothelial cell adhesion to and migration on different extracellular matrix components. Inhibition of angiogenesis in vitro is demonstrated in the sprout-formation assay and in vivo in the chick embryo chorio-allantoic membrane angiogenesis assay. Comparison of active and inactive betapep sequences allows structure-function relationships to be deduced. Five hydrophobic residues and two lysines appear to be crucial to activity. This is the first report of a designed peptide having a well-defined biological function as a novel cytokine, which may be an effective anti-angiogenic agent for therapeutic use against various pathological disorders, such as neoplasia, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetic retinopathy and restenosis.

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