Xia, Zebin (2003-05). Peptidomimetics to mimic protein-protein interactions. Doctoral Dissertation.
Quenched Molecular Dynamics (QMD) used to explore molecular conformations was developed to operate in Insight II platform for two simulation engines: CHARMm and Discover. Two scripts and procedures were written for molecular minimization, dynamics, minimization of each of several hundred conformers, and cut off. Experience with Insight II/Discover versus Quanta/CHARMm, and between Insight II/CHARMm versus Quanta/CHARMm has taught that the forcefield is the key factor in QMD studies. Protein A has been used for the purification of commercial antibodies, but it is expensive. Seven peptidomimetics of protein A were designed based on the hot-spots located at the helix-loop-helix region of protein A, and synthesized via solid phase using the Fmoc approach. These peptidomimetics were characterized by MS and NMR. The conformations of four peptidomimetics were studied by NMR and CD in water/hexafluoroisopropanol (pH 4). The CD and NMR data show that addition of hexafluoroisopropanol stabilizes their a-helical conformations. The structures of these peptidomimetics in solution were generated with Quanta/CHARMm using NMR data as limits for the QMD technique. Protein G has also been used to purify antibodies, but it is expensive too. A number of protein G mimics were designed as trivalent molecules. An efficient preparation of trivalent molecules having a useful primary amine arm has been developed through solid phase synthesis. The cheap, commercially available poly(propylene imine) dendrimers were used as scaffolds which allow multimerization of functionalized compounds. A small library of trivalent compounds were synthesized using this approach. A portion of compounds in this library were tested by Amersham Biosciences. The seven amino acid modified DAB-Am-4 exhibits strong binding to the IgG/Fab, and is a potential ligand for IgG purification. The interactions between neurotrophins (ie NGF and NT-3) and their receptors are typical drug targets. Fourteen second-generation peptidomimetics showing NGF-like or NT3-like activities in a preliminary bioassay, were resynthesized and tested again. Preliminary and retested data were compared. To access a direct binding assay, five fluorescently labeled peptidomimetics 41a-e were synthesized for a fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACScan) assay. Six monomeric precursors 42 and 43 were prepared on large scales for the library of bivalent turn analogs