Targeting the Eph System with Peptides and Peptide Conjugates

Author(s): Stefan J. Riedl, Elena B. Pasquale.

Journal Name: Current Drug Targets

Volume 16 , Issue 10 , 2015

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Abstract:

Eph receptor tyrosine kinases and ephrin ligands constitute an important cell communication system that controls development, tissue homeostasis and many pathological processes. Various Eph receptors/ephrins are present in essentially all cell types and their expression is often dysregulated by injury and disease. Thus, the 14 Eph receptors are attracting increasing attention as a major class of potential drug targets. In particular, agents that bind to the extracellular ephrin-binding pocket of these receptors show promise for medical applications. This pocket comprises a broad and shallow groove surrounded by several flexible loops, which makes peptides particularly suitable to target it with high affinity and selectivity. Accordingly, a number of peptides that bind to Eph receptors with micromolar affinity have been identified using phage display and other approaches. These peptides are generally antagonists that inhibit ephrin binding and Eph receptor/ ephrin signaling, but some are agonists mimicking ephrin-induced Eph receptor activation. Importantly, some of the peptides are exquisitely selective for single Eph receptors. Most identified peptides are linear, but recently the considerable advantages of cyclic scaffolds have been recognized, particularly in light of potential optimization towards drug leads. To date, peptide improvements have yielded derivatives with low nanomolar Eph receptor binding affinity, high resistance to plasma proteases and/or long in vivo half-life, exemplifying the merits of peptides for Eph receptor targeting. Besides their modulation of Eph receptor/ephrin function, peptides can also serve to deliver conjugated imaging and therapeutic agents or various types of nanoparticles to tumors and other diseased tissues presenting target Eph receptors.

Keywords: Angiogenesis, cancer, cyclic peptide, linear peptide, neural repair, neurodegenerative diseases, protein-protein interactions.

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Article Details

VOLUME: 16
ISSUE: 10
Year: 2015
Page: [1031 - 1047]
Pages: 17
DOI: 10.2174/1389450116666150727115934
Price: $58

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