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In regions of the circulation where vessels are straight and unbranched, blood flow is laminar and unidirectional. In contrast, at sites of curvature, branch points, and regions distal to stenoses, blood flow becomes disturbed. Atherosclerosis preferentially develops in these regions of disturbed blood flow. Current therapies for atherosclerosis are systemic and may not sufficiently target these atheroprone regions. In this study, we sought to leverage the alterations on the luminal surface of endothelial cells caused by this atheroprone flow for nanocarrier targeting. In vivo phage display was used to discover unique peptides that selectively bind to atheroprone regions in the mouse partial carotid artery ligation model. The peptide GSPREYTSYMPH (PREY) was found to bind 4.5-fold more avidly to the region of disturbed flow and was used to form targeted liposomes. When administered intravenously, PREY-targeted liposomes preferentially accumulated in endothelial cells in the partially occluded carotid artery and other areas of disturbed flow. Proteomic analysis and immunoblotting indicated that fibronectin and Filamin-A were preferentially bound by PREY nanocarriers in vessels with disturbed flow. In additional experiments, PREY nanocarriers were used therapeutically to deliver the nitric oxide synthase cofactor tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4), which we have previously shown to be deficient in regions of disturbed flow. This intervention increased vascular BH4 and reduced vascular superoxide in the partially ligated artery in wild-type mice and reduced plaque burden in the partially ligated left carotid artery of fat fed atheroprone mice (ApoE(-/-)). Targeting atheroprone sites of the circulation with functionalized nanocarriers provides a promising approach for prevention of early atherosclerotic lesion formation.
Survival of patients with lung cancer could be significantly prolonged should the disease be diagnosed early. Growing evidence indicates that the immune response in the form of autoantibodies to developing cancer is present before clinical presentation. We used a phage-displayed antibody library to select for recombinant scFvs that specifically bind to lung cancer-associated IgM autoantibodies. We selected for scFv recombinant antibodies reactive with circulating IgM autoantibodies found in the serum of patients with early stage lung adenocarcinoma but not matched controls. Discriminatory performance of 6 selected scFvs was validated in an independent set of serum from stage 1 adenocarcinoma and matching control groups using two independent novel methods developed for this application. The panel of 6 selected scFvs predicted cancer based on seroreactivity value with sensitivity of 0.8 and specificity of 0.87. Receiver Operative Characteristic curve (ROC) for combined 6 scFv has an AUC of 0.88 (95%CI, 0.76-1.0) as determined by fluorometric microvolume assay technology (FMAT) The ROC curve generated using a homogeneous bridging Mesa Scale Discovery (MSD) assay had an AUC of 0.72 (95% CI, 0.59-0.85). The panel of all 6 antibodies demonstrated better discriminative power than any single scFv alone. The scFv panel also demonstrated the association between a high score - based on seroreactivity - with poor survival. Selected scFvs were able to recognize lung cancer associated IgM autoantibodies in patient serum as early as 21 months before the clinical presentation of disease. The panel of antibodies discovered represents a potential unique non-invasive molecular tool to detect an immune response specific to lung adenocarcinoma at an early stage of disease.
HLA-B27- and -B57-positive HIV-infected humans have long been associated with control of HIV replication, implying that CD8(+) T cell responses contribute to control of viral replication. In a similar fashion, 50% of Mamu-B*08-positive Indian rhesus macaques control SIVmac239 replication and become elite controllers with chronic-phase viremia <1000 viral RNA copies/ml. Interestingly, Mamu-B*08-restricted SIV-derived epitopes appeared to match the peptide binding profile for HLA-B*2705 in humans. We therefore defined a detailed peptide-binding motif for Mamu-B*08 and investigated binding similarities between the macaque and human MHC class I molecules. Analysis of a panel of approximately 900 peptides revealed that despite substantial sequence differences between Mamu-B*08 and HLA-B*2705, the peptide-binding repertoires of these two MHC class I molecules share a remarkable degree of overlap. Detailed knowledge of the Mamu-B*08 peptide-binding motif enabled us to identify six additional novel Mamu-B*08-restricted SIV-specific CD8(+) T cell immune responses directed against epitopes in Gag, Vpr, and Env. All 13 Mamu-B*08-restricted epitopes contain an R at the position 2 primary anchor and 10 also possess either R or K at the N terminus. Such dibasic peptides are less prone to cellular degradation. This work highlights the relevance of the Mamu-B*08-positive SIV-infected Indian rhesus macaque as a model to examine elite control of immunodeficiency virus replication. The remarkable similarity of the peptide-binding motifs and repertoires for Mamu-B*08 and HLA-B*2705 suggests that the nature of the peptide bound by the MHC class I molecule may play an important role in control of immunodeficiency virus replication.
Detection of autoantibodies in human serum assists in the diagnosis of patients with autoimmune diseases. Diagnostic antibody signatures have also been proposed for colon, pancreatic, and breast cancers. In this issue of the JCI, Cleutjens et al. describe the application of a peptide array technique toward the development of antibody biomarkers of ruptured atherosclerotic lesions (see the related article beginning on page 2979). A phage-display library was prepared from mRNA derived from ruptured peripheral human atherosclerotic plaques, and the phages containing immunoreactive peptides were screened with serum from patients with ruptured atherosclerotic lesions. Antibodies reacting with 2 peptides, E1 and E12, were particularly sensitive for the early diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction. Further studies that include an adequate number of patients presenting very early after the onset of symptoms and additional control patient populations are warranted to compare the utility of these biomarkers to those in clinical use.
Covalent modification of proteins is associated with the toxicity of many electrophiles, and the identification of relevant in vivo protein targets is a desirable but challenging goal. Here, we describe a strategy for the enrichment of adducted proteins utilizing single-chain fragment variable (ScFv) antibodies selected using phage-display technology. Teucrin A is a furan-containing diterpenoid found in the herb germander that is primarily responsible for the herb's hepatotoxicity in rodents and humans following metabolic activation by cytochrome P450 enzymes. Conjugates of the 1,4-enedial derivative of teucrin A, its presumed toxic metabolite, with lysine- and cysteine-containing peptides were synthesized and used to select ScFvs from a rodent phage-displayed library, which recognized the terpenoid moiety of the teucrin-derived adducts. Immunoaffinity isolation of adducted proteins from rat liver homogenates following administration of a toxic dose of teucrin A afforded a family of proteins that were identified by liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry. Of the 46 proteins identified in this study, most were of mitochondrial and endoplasmic reticulum origin. Several cytosolic proteins were found, as well as four peroxisomal and two secreted proteins. Using Ingenuity Pathway Analysis software, two significant networks involving the target genes were identified that had major functions in gene expression, small molecule biochemistry, and cellular function and maintenance. These included proteins involved in lipid, amino acid, and drug metabolism. This study illustrates the utility of chemically synthesized biological conjugates of reactive intermediates and the potential of the phage display technology for the generation of affinity reagents for the isolation of adducted proteins.
A method to rapidly screen libraries of cyclic peptides in vivo for molecules with biological activity has been developed and used to isolate cyclic peptide inhibitors of the ClpXP protease. Fluorescence activated cell sorting was used in conjunction with a fluorescent reporter to isolate cyclic peptides that inhibit the proteolysis of tmRNA-tagged proteins in Escherichia coli. Inhibitors shared little sequence similarity and interfered with unexpected steps in the ClpXP mechanism in vitro. One cyclic peptide, IXP1, inhibited the degradation of unrelated ClpXP substrates and has bactericidal activity when added to growing cultures of Caulobacter crescentus, a model organism that requires ClpXP activity for viability. The screen used here could be adapted to identify cyclic peptide inhibitors of any enzyme that can be expressed in E. coli in conjunction with a fluorescent reporter.
Human metapneumovirus (hMPV) is a recently discovered paramyxovirus that is a major cause of lower-respiratory-tract disease. hMPV is associated with more severe disease in infants and persons with underlying medical conditions. Animal studies have shown that the hMPV fusion (F) protein alone is capable of inducing protective immunity. Here, we report the use of phage display technology to generate a fully human monoclonal antibody fragment (Fab) with biological activity against hMPV. Phage antibody libraries prepared from human donor tissues were selected against recombinant hMPV F protein with multiple rounds of panning. Recombinant Fabs then were expressed in bacteria, and supernatants were screened by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and immunofluorescent assays. A number of Fabs that bound to hMPV F were isolated, and several of these exhibited neutralizing activity in vitro. Fab DS7 neutralized the parent strain of hMPV with a 60% plaque reduction activity of 1.1 mug/ml and bound to hMPV F with an affinity of 9.8 x10(-10) M, as measured by surface plasmon resonance. To test the in vivo activity of Fab DS7, groups of cotton rats were infected with hMPV and given Fab intranasally 3 days after infection. Nasal turbinates and lungs were harvested on day 4 postinfection and virus titers determined. Animals treated with Fab DS7 exhibited a >1,500-fold reduction in viral titer in the lungs, with a modest 4-fold reduction in the nasal tissues. There was a dose-response relationship between the dose of DS7 and virus titer. Human Fab DS7 may have prophylactic or therapeutic potential against severe hMPV infection.
In vivo phage display is a screening method in which peptides homing to specific vascular beds are selected after IV administration of a random peptide library. This strategy has revealed a vascular address system that allows tissue-specific targeting of normal blood vessels and angiogenesis-related targeting of tumor blood vessels by selected peptides. Many vascular receptors or "addresses" targeted by homing peptides have been identified. One such vascular receptor of normal lung endothelium is membrane dipeptidase (MDP), which was found by in vivo phage display to bind the tripeptide motif gly-phe-glu (GFE). Our studies with GFE peptide and lung vasculature suggest that MDP mediates cancer cell adhesion to lung vasculature and the development of lung metastases, but that MDP is not present in the vasculature of lung metastases. MDP appears to occupy a vascular distribution that is similar to the pulmonary artery circulation. These results demonstrate the promise of defining critical functional and anatomic characteristics of endothelial cells in lung and other organs by in vivo phage display.
We developed anti-Akt1 single-chain antibodies (scFv) by panning a mouse phage-displayed scFv recombinant antibody library. Recombinant scFv that bound glutathione S-transferase (GST)-Akt1 were screened for their ability to inhibit Akt activity in vitro in a kinase reaction containing human recombinant Akt1 and an Akt/serum glucocorticoid-inducible kinase (SGK) substrate. Michaelis-Menten analysis of kinase inhibition by a selected scFv was consistent with scFv-mediated competition with enzyme's substrate for the catalytic site of Akt. To generate a membrane-permeable version of the anti-Akt1 scFv, the scFv gene was subcloned into a GST expression vector carrying a membrane-translocating sequence (MTS) from Kaposi fibroblast growth factor. A purified GST-anti-Akt1-MTS fusion protein accumulated intracellularly in 293T, BT-474, and PyVmT cells in a dose- and time-dependent fashion. Intracellular accumulation correlated temporally with inhibition of p-Ser(473) Akt and GSK-3alpha/beta phosphorylation, suggesting that Ser(473) is an Akt autophosphorylation site. Phosphorylated (activated) phosphoinositide-dependent kinase 1, mitogen-activated protein kinase, p38, and HER2 (erbB2) were not affected, supporting Akt kinase specificity for the inhibitory scFv. Exogenously expressed constitutively active Akt2 and Akt3 were also inhibited in vitro by the anti-Akt1 fusion protein. Furthermore, GST-anti-Akt1-MTS induced apoptosis in three cancer cell lines that express constitutively active Akt. Finally, systemic treatment with the anti-Akt scFv reduced tumor volume and neovascularization and increased apoptosis in PyVmT-expressing transgenic tumors implanted in mouse dorsal window chambers. Thus, GST-anti-Akt1-MTS is a novel cell-permeable inhibitor of Akt, which selectively inhibits Akt-mediated survival in intact cells both in vitro and in vivo.
The BabA adhesin of Helicobacter pylori is an outer membrane protein that binds to the fucosylated Lewis b histo-blood group antigen on the surface of gastric epithelial cells. We screened a phage-displayed ScFv (single-chain fragment variable) recombinant antibody library for antibodies reactive with a recombinant BabA fragment and identified two such antibodies. Each antibody recognized an approximately 75-kDa protein present in wild-type H. pylori strain J99 but absent from an isogenic babA mutant strain. An immunoreactive BabA protein was detected by at least one of the antibodies in 18 (46%) of 39 different wild-type H. pylori strains and was detected more commonly in cagA-positive strains than in cagA-negative strains. Numerous amino acid polymorphisms were detected among BabA proteins expressed by different strains, with the greatest diversity occurring in the middle region of the proteins. Among the 18 strains that expressed a detectable BabA protein, there was considerable variation in the level of binding to Lewis b in vitro. Heterogeneity among H. pylori strains in expression of the BabA protein may be a factor that contributes to differing clinical outcomes among H. pylori-infected humans.