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Amino Acids. 2014 Apr;46(4):873-82. doi: 10.1007/s00726-013-1650-6. Epub 2013 Dec 24.

The designer leptin antagonist peptide Allo-aca compensates for short serum half-life with very tight binding to the receptor.

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Department of Biology, Temple University, 1900 North 12th Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19122, USA,


The leptin receptor antagonist peptide Allo-aca exhibits picomolar activities in various cellular systems and sub-mg/kg subcutaneous efficacies in animal models making it a prime drug candidate and target validation tool. Here we identified the biochemical basis for its remarkable in vivo activity. Allo-aca decomposed within 30 min in pooled human serum and was undetectable beyond the same time period from mouse plasma during pharmacokinetic measurements. The C max of 8.9 μg/mL at 5 min corresponds to approximately 22% injected peptide present in the circulation. The half-life was extended to over 2 h in bovine vitreous fluid and 10 h in human tears suggesting potential efficacy in ophthalmic diseases. The peptide retained picomolar anti-proliferation activity against a chronic myeloid leukemia cell line; addition of a C-terminal biotin label increased the IC50 value by approximately 200-fold. In surface plasmon resonance assays with the biotin-labeled peptide immobilized to a NeutrAvidin-coated chip, Allo-aca exhibited exceptionally tight binding to the binding domain of the human leptin receptor with ka = 5 × 10(5) M(-1) s(-1) and kdiss = 1.5 × 10(-4) s(-1) values. Peptides excel in terms of high activity and selectivity to their targets, and may activate or inactivate receptor functions considerably longer than molecular turnovers that take place in experimental animals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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