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PLoS One. 2013 May 3;8(5):e63073. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0063073. Print 2013.

Identification and characterization of the direct interaction between methotrexate (MTX) and high-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) protein.

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1
Department of Applied Biological Science, Faculty of Science and Technology, Tokyo University of Science, Yamazaki, Noda, Chiba, Japan.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Methotrexate (MTX) is an agent used in chemotherapy of tumors and autoimmune disease including rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In addition, MTX has some anti-inflammatory activity. Although dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) is a well-known target for the anti-tumor effect of MTX, the mode of action for the anti-inflammatory activity of MTX is not fully understood. METHODOLOGY/RESULT: Here, we performed a screening of MTX-binding proteins using T7 phage display with a synthetic biotinylated MTX derivative. We then characterized the interactions using surface plasmon resonance (SPR) analysis and electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA). Using a T7 phage display screen, we identified T7 phages that displayed part of high-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) protein (K86-V175). Binding affinities as well as likely binding sites were characterized using genetically engineered truncated versions of HMGB1 protein (Al G1-K87, Bj: F88-K181), indicating that MTX binds to HMGB1 via two independent sites with a dissociation constants (KD) of 0.50±0.03 µM for Al and 0.24 ± 0.01 µM for Bj. Although MTX did not inhibit the binding of HMGB1 to DNA via these domains, HMGB1/RAGE association was impeded in the presence of MTX. These data suggested that binding of MTX to part of the RAGE-binding region (K149-V175) in HMGB1 might be significant for the anti-inflammatory effect of MTX. Indeed, in murine macrophage-like cells (RAW 264.7), TNF-α release and mitogenic activity elicited by specific RAGE stimulation with a truncated monomeric HMGB1 were inhibited in the presence of MTX.

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:

These data demonstrate that HMGB1 is a direct binding protein of MTX. Moreover, binding of MTX to RAGE-binding region in HMGB1 inhibited the HMGB1/RAGE interaction at the molecular and cellular levels. These data might explain the molecular basis underlying the mechanism of action for the anti-inflammatory effect of MTX.

PMID:
23658798
PMCID:
PMC3643934
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0063073
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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