|The Ohio State University
|Biochemistry Program, Ohio State
|Biochemistry; Biomedical Research; Chemistry; Cyclic Peptides; Combinatorial Chemistry; One-Bead-One-Compound (OBOC) Library; Prolactin Recepotr; Pin1; HIV Capsid; Calcineurin; Cell Penetrating Peptide (CPP)
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Cyclic peptides are widely produced in nature and possess a broad range of biological activities. Their enhanced proteolytic stability in vivo and improved receptor binding affinity/specificity makes them excellent drug candidates, molecular probes and targeting agents. In fact, many cyclic peptides are clinically used therapeutic agents. Combinatorial library approaches provide powerful tools for the rapid identification of compounds with desired properties from large pools in biological and biomedical studies. However, the synthesis and screening of cyclic peptide libraries in a combinatorial format has been challenging. To overcome the issue, we have successfully developed one-bead-two-compound (OBTC) libraries with a cyclic peptide displayed on the bead surface accessible for protein targets screening, while the bead interior contains the corresponding linear peptide served as an encoding tag for hit identification. The primary goal of my research is to identify novel biologically active cyclic peptides, beyond what nature has provided us.By applying cyclic peptide library approach, we have successfully identified high affinity ligands against various biological targets, including: extracellular protein receptors (human prolactin receptor), intracellular protein domains (the capsid domain of HIV-1 Gag polyprotein and calcineurin catalytic domain) and enzymes (Pin1 catalytic domains). In the meantime, we have continued to improve the methodologies associated with combinatorial chemistry. To facilitate the process and improve the screening results, such as avoiding false positives, we have developed many cyclic library approaches including libraries on different solid supports, reduced surface density libraries, high diversity libraries with different ring sizes and library compatible with rapid solution phase validation. These new approaches greatly facilitate the ligands discovery process.My final work focused on the intracellular delivery of cyclic peptides. Little is known about how cyclization would affect peptides membrane permeability and the results from existing studies are controversial. With a combination of biophysical approaches and cell based studies, we have found that cyclization has a dramatic effect on the cell permeation of peptides with certain residues. By applying the rules, we were able to design cell permeable cyclic peptide inhibitors against various intracellular protein targets. Our studies provide guiding principles for designing membrane penetrating cyclic peptidyl drugs.