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Solubility Improvement of an Anthrax Toxin Peptide Inhibitor by Rational Aminoacid Randomization

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We previously described a potent anthrax toxin inhibitor, based on a phage-library-selected peptide sequence, synthesized as a tetra-branched molecule on a lysine core and further modified for improvement of activity [Pini et al., Biochem. J., 2006, 395, 157]. This branched peptide had very low solubility because of several hydrophobic residues in the peptide sequence. This complicated molecule purification and manufacturing. Here we report a rational modification of the peptide sequence, obtained by construction and selection of several mini libraries of branched peptides, containing sequences randomized in non crucial positions of the original peptide. Mini libraries were screened for solubility and inhibitory activity. This procedure enabled us to obtain a new peptide with a better solubility and identical inhibitory activity.

Keywords: Branched peptides; MAP; anthrax toxin inhibitor; dendrimeric peptides; peptide solubility; peptide stability

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 1, 2008

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  • Protein & Peptide Letters publishes short papers in all important aspects of protein and peptide research, including structural studies, recombinant expression, function, synthesis, enzymology, immunology, molecular modeling, drug design etc. Manuscripts must have a significant element of novelty, timeliness and urgency that merit rapid publication. Reports of crystallisation, and preliminary structure determinations of biologically important proteins are acceptable. Purely theoretical papers are also acceptable provided they provide new insight into the principles of protein/peptide structure and function.

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