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J Am Chem Soc. 2014 Dec 24;136(51):17710-3. doi: 10.1021/ja5065735. Epub 2014 Dec 12.

Data-driven synthesis of proteolysis-resistant peptide hormones.

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Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University , Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, United States.


Peptide hormones are key physiological regulators, and many would make terrific drugs; however, the therapeutic use of peptides is limited by poor metabolism including rapid proteolysis. To develop novel proteolysis-resistant peptide hormone analogs, we utilize a strategy that relies on data from simple mass spectrometry experiments to guide the chemical synthesis of proteolysis-resistant analogs (i.e., data-driven synthesis). Application of this strategy to oxyntomodulin (OXM), a peptide hormone that stimulates insulin secretion from islets and lowers blood glucose in vivo, defined the OXM cleavage site in serum, and this information was used to synthesize a proteolysis-resistant OXM analog (prOXM). prOXM and OXM have similar activity in binding and glucose stimulated-insulin secretion assays. Furthermore, prOXM is also active in vivo. prOXM reduces basal glucose levels and improves glucose tolerance in mice. The discovery of prOXM suggests that proteolysis-resistant variants of other important peptide hormones can also be found using this strategy to increase the number of candidate therapeutic peptides.

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