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Neufahrn bei Freising, Germany

Eichner T.,Pieris Pharmaceuticals GmbH | Kutter S.,Howard Hughes Medical Institute | Labeikovsky W.,Rockefeller University | Buosi V.,Sanofi S.A. | Kern D.,Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Journal of Molecular Biology | Year: 2016

Human peptidyl-prolyl isomerase (PPIase) Pin1 plays key roles in developmental processes, cell proliferation, and neuronal function. Extensive phosphorylation of the microtubule binding protein tau has been implicated in neurodegeneration and Alzheimer's disease. For the past 15. years, these two players have been the focus of an enormous research effort to unravel the biological relevance of their interplay in health and disease, resulting in a series of proposed molecular mechanism of how Pin1 catalysis of tau results in biological phenotypes. Our results presented here refute these mechanisms of Pin1 action. Using NMR, isothermal calorimetry (ITC), and small angle x-ray scattering (SAXS), we dissect binding and catalysis on multiple phosphorylated tau with particular emphasis toward the Alzheimer's associated AT180 tau epitope containing phosphorylated THR231 and SER235. We find that phosphorylated (p-) SER235-PRO, but not pTHR231-PRO, is exclusively catalyzed by full-length Pin1 and isolated PPIase domain. Importantly, site-specific measurements of Pin1-catalysis of CDK2/CycA-phosphorylated full-length tau reveal a number of sites that are catalyzed simultaneously with different efficiencies. Furthermore, we show that the turnover efficiency at pSER235 by Pin1 is independent of both the WW domain and phosphorylation on THR231. Our mechanistic results on site-specific binding and catalysis together with the lack of an increase of dephosphorylation rates by PP2A counter a series of previously published models for the role of Pin1 catalysis of tau in Alzheimer's disease. Together, our data reemphasize the complicated scenario between binding and catalysis of multiple phosphorylated tau by Pin1 and the need for directly linking biological phenotypes and residue-specific turnover in Pin1 substrates. © 2016.

Gille H.,Pieris Pharmaceuticals GmbH | Gille H.,Silence Therapeutics | Hulsmeyer M.,Pieris Pharmaceuticals GmbH | Trentmann S.,Pieris Pharmaceuticals GmbH | And 7 more authors.
Angiogenesis | Year: 2016

Human tear lipocalin (Tlc) was utilized as a protein scaffold to engineer an Anticalin that specifically binds and functionally blocks vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A), a pivotal inducer of physiological angiogenesis that also plays a crucial role in several neovascular diseases. Starting from a naive combinatorial library where residues that form the natural ligand-binding site of Tlc were randomized, followed by affinity maturation, the final Anticalin PRS-050 was selected to bind all major splice forms of VEGF-A with picomolar affinity. Moreover, this Anticalin cross-reacts with the murine ortholog. PRS-050 efficiently antagonizes the interaction between VEGF-A and its cellular receptors, and it inhibits VEGF-induced mitogenic signaling as well as proliferation of primary human endothelial cells with subnanomolar IC50 values. Intravitreal administration of the Anticalin suppressed VEGF-induced blood–retinal barrier breakdown in a rabbit model. To allow lasting systemic neutralization of VEGF-A in vivo, the plasma half-life of the Anticalin was extended by site-directed PEGylation. The modified Anticalin efficiently blocked VEGF-mediated vascular permeability as well as growth of tumor xenografts in nude mice, concomitantly with reduction in microvessel density. In contrast to bevacizumab, the Anticalin did not trigger platelet aggregation and thrombosis in human FcγRIIa transgenic mice, thus suggesting an improved safety profile. Since neutralization of VEGF-A activity is well known to exert beneficial effects in cancer and other neovascular diseases, including wet age-related macular degeneration, this Anticalin offers a novel potent small protein antagonist for differentiated therapeutic intervention in oncology and ophthalmology. © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

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