Targeting cancer-specific glycans by cyclic peptide lectinomimics

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Department of Chemistry


The transformation from normal to malignant phenotype in human cancers is associated with aberrant cell-surface glycosylation. Thus, targeting glycosylation changes in cancer is likely to provide not only better insight into the roles of carbohydrates in biological systems, but also facilitate the development of new molecular probes for bioanalytical and biomedical applications. In the reported study, we have synthesized lectinomimics based on odorranalectin 1; the smallest lectin-like cyclic peptide isolated from the frog Odorrana grahami skin, and assessed the ability of these peptides to bind specific carbohydrates on molecular and cellular levels. In addition, we have shown that the disulfide bond found in 1 can be replaced with a lactam bridge. However, the orientation of the lactam bridge, peptides 2 and 3, influenced cyclic peptide‘s conformation and thus these peptides’ ability to bind carbohydrates. Naturally occurring 1 and its analog 3 that adopt similar conformation in water bind preferentially l-fucose, and to a lesser degree d-galactose and N-acetyl-d-galactosamine, typically found within the mucin O-glycan core structures. In cell-based assays, peptides 1 and 3 showed a similar binding profile to Aleuria aurantia lectin and these two peptides inhibited the migration of metastatic breast cancer cell lines in a Transwell assay. Altogether, the reported data demonstrate the feasibility of designing lectinomimics based on cyclic peptides.

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Amino Acids