Study on CCR5 analogs and affinity peptides

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Abstract

The G protein-coupled receptor of human chemokine receptor 5 (CCR5) is a key target in the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection process due to its major involvement in binding to the HIV type 1 (HIV-1) envelope glycoprotein gp120 and facilitating virus entry into the cells. The identification of naturally occurring CCR5 mutations (especially CCR5 delta-32) has allowed us to address the CCR5 molecule as a promising target to prevent or resist HIV infection in vivo. To obtain high-affinity peptides that can be used to block CCR5, CCR5 analogs with high conformational similarity are required. In this study, two recombinant proteins named CCR5 N-Linker-E2 and CCR5 mN-E1-E2 containing the fragments of the CCR5 N-terminal, the first extracellular loop or the second extracellular loop are cloned from a full-length human CCR5 cDNA. The recombinant human CCR5 analogs with self-cleavage activity of the intein Mxe or Ssp in the vector pTwinI were then produced with a high-yield expression and purification system in Escherichia coli. Experiments of extracellular epitope-activity identification (such as immunoprecipitation and indirective/competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) confirmed the close similarity between the epitope activity of the CCR5 analogs and that of the natural CCR5, suggesting the applicability of the recombinant CCR5 analogs as antagonists of the chemokine ligands. Subsequent screening of high-affinity peptides from the phage random-peptides library acquired nine polypeptides, which could be used as CCR5 peptide antagonists. The CCR5 analogs and affinity peptides elucidated in this paper provide us with a basis for further study of the mechanism of inhibition of HIV-1 infection.

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