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Clark S.A.,Florida State University | Clark S.A.,Xtal Biostructures, Inc. | Davulcu O.,Oregon Health And Science University | Chapman M.S.,Florida State University | Chapman M.S.,Oregon Health And Science University
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications | Year: 2012

Arginine kinase catalyzes the reversible transfer of a phosphoryl group between ATP and l-arginine and is a monomeric homolog of the human enzyme creatine kinase. Arginine and creatine kinases belongs to the phosphagen kinase family of enzymes, which consists of eight known members, each of which is specific for its own phosphagen. Here, the source of phosphagen specificity in arginine kinase is investigated through the use of phosphagen analogs. Crystal structures have been determined for Limulus polyphemus arginine kinase with one of four arginine analogs bound in a transition state analog complex: l-ornithine, l-citrulline, imino- l-ornithine, and d-arginine. In all complexes, the enzyme achieves a closed conformation very similar to that of the cognate transition state analog complex, but differences are observed in the configurations of bound ligands. Arginine kinase exhibits no detectable activity towards ornithine, citrulline, or imino- l-ornithine, and only trace activity towards d-arginine. The crystal structures presented here demonstrate that phosphagen specificity is derived neither from a lock-and-key mechanism nor a modulation of induced-fit conformational changes, but potentially from subtle distortions in bound substrate configurations. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.

Song K.,Stryker Biotech. | Krause C.,Leiden University | Shi S.,Leiden University | Patterson M.,Stryker Biotech. | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Biological Chemistry | Year: 2010

Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are used clinically to induce new bone formation in spinal fusions and long bone nonunion fractures. However, large amounts of BMPs are needed to achieve these effects. BMPs were found to increase the expression of antagonists, which potentially limit their therapeutic efficacy. However, the relative susceptibility of osteoinductive BMPs to different antagonists is not well characterized. Here we show that BMP-6 is more resistant to noggin inhibition and more potent in promoting osteoblast differentiation in vitro and inducing bone regeneration in vivo when compared with its closely related BMP-7 paralog. Noggin was found to play a critical role as a negative feedback regulator of BMP-7but not BMP-6-induced biological responses. Using BMP-6/7 chimeras, we identified lysine 60 as a key residue conferring noggin resistance within the BMP-6 protein. A remarkable correlation was found between the presence of a lysine at this position and noggin resistance among a panel of osteoinductive BMPs. Introduction of a lysine residue at the corresponding positions of BMP-2 and BMP-7 allowed for molecular engineering of recombinant BMPs with increased resistance to noggin antagonism. © 2010 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

Bhol K.C.,Avaxia Biologics, Inc. | Tracey D.E.,Avaxia Biologics, Inc. | Lemos B.R.,Avaxia Biologics, Inc. | Lyng G.D.,Biomodels LLC | And 7 more authors.
Inflammatory Bowel Diseases | Year: 2013

Background: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal tract, which is currently treated with injected monoclonal antibodies specific for tumor necrosis factor (TNF). We developed and characterized AVX-470, a novel polyclonal antibody specific for human TNF. We evaluated the oral activity of AVX-470m, a surrogate antibody specific for murine TNF, in several well-accepted mouse models of IBD. Methods: AVX-470 and AVX-470m were isolated from the colostrum of dairy cows that had been immunized with TNF. The potency, specificity, and affinity of both AVX-470 and AVX-470m were evaluated in vitro and compared with infliximab. AVX-470m was orally administered to mice either before or after induction of colitis, and activity was measured by endoscopy, histopathology, immunohistochemistry, and quantitative measurement of messenger RNA levels. Colitis was induced using either 2,4,6-trinitrobenzene sulfonate or dextran sodium sulfate. Results: AVX-470 and AVX-470m were shown to be functionally comparable in vitro. Moreover, the specificity, neutralizing potency, and affinity of AVX-470 were comparable with infliximab. Orally administered AVX-470m effectively reduced disease severity in several mouse models of IBD. Activity was comparable with that of oral prednisolone or parenteral etanercept. The antibody penetrated the colonic mucosa and inhibited TNF-driven mucosal inflammation with minimal systemic exposure. Conclusions: AVX-470 is a novel polyclonal anti-TNF antibody with an in vitro activity profile comparable to that of infliximab. Oral administration of a surrogate antibody specific for mouse TNF is effective in treating mouse models of IBD, delivering the anti-TNF to the site of inflammation with minimal systemic exposure. © 2013 Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America, Inc.

Birrane G.,Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center | Bhyravbhatla B.,Xtal Biostructures, Inc. | Navia M.A.,Altus Pharmaceuticals
ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters | Year: 2014

Protease mediated peptide synthesis (PMPS) was first described in the 1930s but remains underexploited today. In most PMPS, the reaction equilibrium is shifted toward synthesis by the aqueous insolubility of product generated. Substrates and proteases are selected by trial and error, yields are modest, and reaction times are slow. Once implemented, however, PMPS reactions can be simple, environmentally benign, and readily scalable to a commercial level. We examined the PMPS of a precursor of the artificial sweetener aspartame, a multiton peptide synthesis catalyzed by the enzyme thermolysin. X-ray structures of thermolysin in complex with aspartame substrates separately, and after PMPS in a crystal, rationalize the reaction's substrate preferences and reveal an unexpected form of substrate inhibition that explains its sluggishness. Structure guided optimization of this and other PMPS reactions could expand the economic viability of commercial peptides beyond current high-potency, low-volume therapeutics, with substantial green chemistry advantages. © 2014 American Chemical Society.

Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 148.11K | Year: 2014

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