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Curr Pharm Des. 2011 Dec;17(38):4329-36.

Natural and engineered cystine knot miniproteins for diagnostic and therapeutic applications.

Author information

1
Institute for Biochemistry and Organic Chemistry, Technische Universit├Ąt Darmstadt, Germany. kolmar@Biochemie-TUD.de

Abstract

Cystine knot miniproteins define a class of peptides in the size range of approximately 28-35 amino acid residues that often combine high chemical and biological stability with high potency and selectivity. They share a common structural motif that is defined by three intramolecular disulfide bonds that gives rise to a very stable scaffold. Members of this family cover a broad spectrum of natural bioactivities ranging from antimicrobial and antiviral activities to selective blockage or activation of ion channels, cell surface receptors and extracelluar proteases. In recent years, the spectrum of natural bioactivities of this class of miniproteins was further expanded by application of protein design and directed evolution technologies. Miniproteins have been developed that inhibit platelet aggregation, block asthma-related proteases, act as growth factor mimics or address human tumor targets. Recent reports on miniproteins binding to cancer specific targets indicate that these biomolecules due to their particularly high in vivo stability, high target affinity, good tissue distribution, and fast body clearance are very promising agents that can be endowed with important beneficial features for imaging and therapeutic applications. With the first cystine-knot miniprotein already marketed as an analgesic, more candidates can be expected to find their way into the clinic for diagnostic and therapeutic applications over next years.

PMID:
22204431
DOI:
10.2174/138161211798999465
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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