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Modified Glycopeptides Targeting Rheumatoid Arthritis: Exploring molecular interactions in class II MHC/glycopeptide/T-cell receptor complexes
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune inflammatory disease that leads to degradation of cartilage and bone mainly in peripheral joints. In collagen-induced arthritis (CIA), a mouse model for RA, activation of autoimmune CD4+ T cells depends on a molecular recognition system where T-cell receptors (TCRs) recognize a complex between the class II MHC Aq protein and CII259-273, a glycopeptide epitope from type II collagen (CII). Interestingly, vaccination with the Aq/CII259-273 complex can relieve symptoms and cause disease regression in mice. This thesis describes the use of modified glycopeptides to explore interactions important for binding to the Aq protein and recognition by autoimmune T-cell hybridomas obtained from mice with CIA.

The CII259-273 glycopeptide was modified by replacement of backbone amides with different amide bond isosteres, as well as substitution of two residues that anchor the glycopeptide in prominent pockets in the Aq binding site. A three-dimensional structure of the Aq/glycopeptide complex was modeled to provide a structural basis for interpretation of the modified glycopeptide’s immunological activities. Overall, it was found that the amide bond isosteres affected Aq binding more than could be explained by the static model of the Aq/glycopeptide complex. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, however, revealed that the introduced amide bond isosteres substantially altered the hydrogen-bonding network formed between the N-terminal 259-265 backbone sequence of CII259-273 and Aq. These results indicated that the N-terminal hydrogen-bonding interactions follow a cooperative model, where the strength and presence of individual hydrogen bonds depended on the neighboring interactions.

The two important anchor residues Ile260 and Phe263 were investigated using a designed library of CII259-273 based glycopeptides with substitutions by different (non-)natural amino acids at positions 260 and 263. Evaluation of binding to the Aq protein showed that there was scope for improvement in position 263 while Ile was preferred in position 260. The obtained SAR understanding provided a valuable basis for future development of modified glycopeptides with improved Aq binding. Furthermore, the modified glycopeptides elicited varying T-cell responses that generally could be correlated to their ability to bind to Aq. However, in several cases, there was a lack of correlation between Aq binding and T-cell recognition, which indicated that the interactions with the TCRs were determined by other factors, such as presentation of altered epitopes and changes in the kinetics of the TCR’s interaction with the Aq/glycopeptide complex.

Several of the modified glycopeptides were also found to bind well to the human RA-associated DR4 protein and elicit strong responses with T-cell hybridomas obtained from transgenic mice expressing DR4 and the human CD4 co-receptor. This encourages future investigations of modified glycopeptides that can be used to further probe the MHC/glycopeptide/TCR recognition system and that also constitute potential therapeutic vaccines for treatment of RA. As a step towards this goal, three modified glycopeptides presented in this thesis have been identified as candidates for vaccination studies using the CIA mouse model.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet. Kemiska institutionen , 2011. , 65 p.
Keyword [en]
Major histocompatibility complex, class II MHC, T-cell receptor, rheumatoid arthritis, collagen-induced arthritis, glycopeptide, amide bond isostere, comparative modeling, rational design, molecular docking, molecular dynamics simulation, statistical molecular design
National Category
Organic Chemistry
Research subject
Organic Chemistry; Biorganic Chemistry; läkemedelskemi
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-42082ISBN: 978-91-7459-173-6OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-42082DiVA: diva2:408637
Public defence
2011-04-29, KBC-huset, KB3B1, Umeå Universitet, Umeå, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2011-04-08 Created: 2011-04-05 Last updated: 2011-04-11Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Probing molecular interactions within Class II MHC Aq/Glycopeptide/T-Cell Receptor Complexes associated with Collagen-Induced Arthritis
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Probing molecular interactions within Class II MHC Aq/Glycopeptide/T-Cell Receptor Complexes associated with Collagen-Induced Arthritis
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2007 (English)In: Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, ISSN 0022-2623, E-ISSN 1520-4804, Vol. 50, no 23, 5627-5643 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

T cells obtained in a mouse model for rheumatoid arthritis are activated by a glycopeptide fragment from rat type II collagen (CII) bound to the class II major histocompatibility complex Aq molecule. We report a comparative model of Aq in complex with the glycopeptide CII260-267. This model was used in a structure-based design approach where the amide bond between Ala261 and Gly262 in the glycopeptide was selected for replacement with [COCH2], [CH2NH2+], and [(E)-CH=CH] isosteres. Ala-Gly isostere building blocks were then synthesized and introduced in CII260-267 and CII259-273 glycopeptides. The modified glycopeptides were evaluated for binding to the Aq molecule, and the results were interpreted in view of the Aq/glycopeptide model. Moreover, recognition by a panel of T-cell hybridomas revealed high sensitivity for the backbone modifications. These studies contribute to the understanding of the interactions in the ternary Aq/glycopeptide/T-cell receptor complexes that activate T cells in autoimmune arthritis and suggest possibilities for new vaccination approaches.

Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-17780 (URN)doi:10.1021/jm0705410 (DOI)
Available from: 2008-05-19 Created: 2008-05-19 Last updated: 2011-04-08Bibliographically approved
2. (E)-Alkene and Ethylene Isosteres Substantially Alter the Hydrogen-Bonding Network in Class II MHC Aq/Glycopeptide Complexes and Affect T-Cell Recognition
Open this publication in new window or tab >>(E)-Alkene and Ethylene Isosteres Substantially Alter the Hydrogen-Bonding Network in Class II MHC Aq/Glycopeptide Complexes and Affect T-Cell Recognition
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2011 (English)In: Journal of the American Chemical Society, ISSN 0002-7863, E-ISSN 1520-5126, Vol. 133, no 36, 14368-14378 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The structural basis for antigen presentation by class II major histocompatibility complex (MHC) proteins to CD4(+) T-cells is important for understanding and possibly treating autoimmune diseases. In the work described in this paper, (E)-alkene and ethylene amide-bond isosteres were used to investigate the effect of removing hydrogen-bonding possibilities from the CII259-270 glycopeptide, which is bound by the arthritis-associated murine A(q) class II MHC protein. The isostere-modified glycopeptides showed varying and unexpectedly large losses of A(q) binding that could be linked to the dynamics of the system. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations revealed that the backbone of CII259-270 and the A(q) protein are able to form up to 11 hydrogen bonds, but fewer than this number are present at any one time. Most of the strong hydrogen-bond interactions were formed by the N-terminal part of the glycopeptide, i.e., in the region where the isosteric replacements were made. The structural dynamics also revealed that hydrogen bonds were strongly coupled to each other; the loss of one hydrogen-bond interaction had a profound effect on the entire hydrogen-bonding network. The A(q) binding data revealed that an ethylene isostere glycopeptide unexpectedly bound more strongly to A(q) than the corresponding (E)-alkene, which is in contrast to the trend observed for the other isosteres. Analysis of the MD trajectories revealed that the complex conformation of this ethylene isostere was structurally different and had an altered molecular interaction pattern compared to the other A(q)/glycopeptide complexes. The introduced amide-bond isosteres also affected the interactions of the glycopeptide/A(q) complexes with T-cell receptors. The dynamic variation of the patterns and strengths of the hydrogen-bond interactions in the class II MHC system is of critical importance for the class II MHC/peptide/TCR signaling system.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Chemical Society, 2011
National Category
Chemical Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-42072 (URN)10.1021/ja2038722 (DOI)
Available from: 2011-04-05 Created: 2011-04-05 Last updated: 2011-10-20Bibliographically approved
3. Oxazole-modified glycopeptides that target arthritis-associated class II MHC Aq and DR4 proteins
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Oxazole-modified glycopeptides that target arthritis-associated class II MHC Aq and DR4 proteins
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2010 (English)In: Organic and biomolecular chemistry, ISSN 1477-0520, E-ISSN 1477-0539, Vol. 8, no 13, 2931-2940 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The glycopeptide CII259-273, a fragment from type II collagen (CII), can induce tolerance in mice susceptible to collagen-induced arthritis (CIA), which is a validated disease model for rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Here, we describe the design and synthesis of a small series of modified CII259-273 glycopeptides with oxazole heterocycles replacing three potentially labile peptide bonds. These glycopeptidomimetics were evaluated for binding to murine CIA-associated A(q) and human RA-associated DR4 class II major histocompatibility complex (MHC) proteins. The oxazole modifications drastically reduced or completely abolished binding to A(q). Two of the glycopeptidomimetics were, however, well tolerated in binding to DR4 and they also induced strong responses by one or two DR4-restricted T-cell hybridomas. This work contributes to the development of an altered glycopeptide for inducing immunological tolerance in CIA, with the long-term goal of developing a therapeutic vaccine for treatment of RA.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
RSC Publishing, 2010
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-35270 (URN)10.1039/c003640d (DOI)000278824700008 ()20485848 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2010-08-11 Created: 2010-08-11 Last updated: 2011-04-08Bibliographically approved
4. Design of glycopeptides used to investigate class II MHC binding and T-Cell responses associated with autoimmune arthritis
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Design of glycopeptides used to investigate class II MHC binding and T-Cell responses associated with autoimmune arthritis
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2011 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 6, no 3, e17881- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The glycopeptide fragment CII259–273 from type II collagen (CII) binds to the murine Aq and human DR4 class II Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC II) proteins, which are associated with development of murine collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), respectively. It has been shown that CII259–273 can be used in therapeutic vaccination of CIA. This glycopeptide also elicits responses from T-cells obtained from RA patients, which indicates that it has an important role in RA as well. We now present a methodology for studies of (glyco)peptide-receptor interactions based on a combination of structure-based virtual screening, ligand-based statistical molecular design and biological evaluations. This methodology included the design of a CII259–273 glycopeptide library in which two anchor positions crucial for binding in pockets of Aq and DR4 were varied. Synthesis and biological evaluation of the designed glycopeptides provided novel structure-activity relationship (SAR) understanding of binding to Aq and DR4. Glycopeptides that retained high affinities for these MHC II proteins and induced strong responses in panels of T-cell hybridomas were also identified. An analysis of all the responses revealed groups of glycopeptides with different response patterns that are of high interest for vaccination studies in CIA. Moreover, the SAR understanding obtained in this study provides a platform for the design of second-generation glycopeptides with tuned MHC affinities and T-cell responses.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Public Library of Science, 2011
National Category
Chemical Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-41050 (URN)10.1371/journal.pone.0017881 (DOI)21423632 (PubMedID)
Note

Vid avhandlingens utgivning manuskript med annan titel: "Design of glycopeptide chemical probes used to investigate multiresponses associated with autoimmune arthritis"

Available from: 2011-03-17 Created: 2011-03-17 Last updated: 2013-04-22Bibliographically approved

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