(1) Background: Disfunctions in autophagy machinery have been identified in various conditions, including neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, and inflammation. Among mammalian autophagy proteins, the Atg8 family member GABARAP has been shown to be greatly involved in the autophagy process of prostate cancer cells, supporting the idea that GABARAP inhibitors could be valuable tools to fight the progression of tumors. (2) Methods: In this paper, starting from the X-ray crystal structure of GABARAP in a complex with an AnkirinB-LIR domain, we identify two new peptides by applying in silico drug design techniques. The two ligands are synthesized, biophysically assayed, and biologically evaluated to ascertain their potential anticancer profile. (3) Results: Two cyclic peptides (WC8 and WC10) displayed promising biological activity, high conformational stability (due to the presence of disulfide bridges), and K-d values in the low micromolar range. The anticancer assays, performed on PC-3 cells, proved that both peptides exhibit antiproliferative effects comparable to those of peptide K1, a known GABARAP inhibitor. (4) Conclusions: WC8 and WC10 can be considered new GABARAP inhibitors to be employed as pharmacological tools or even templates for the rational design of new small molecules.

Focused Design of Novel Cyclic Peptides Endowed with GABARAP-Inhibiting Activity

Garofalo, Mariangela;
2022

Abstract

(1) Background: Disfunctions in autophagy machinery have been identified in various conditions, including neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, and inflammation. Among mammalian autophagy proteins, the Atg8 family member GABARAP has been shown to be greatly involved in the autophagy process of prostate cancer cells, supporting the idea that GABARAP inhibitors could be valuable tools to fight the progression of tumors. (2) Methods: In this paper, starting from the X-ray crystal structure of GABARAP in a complex with an AnkirinB-LIR domain, we identify two new peptides by applying in silico drug design techniques. The two ligands are synthesized, biophysically assayed, and biologically evaluated to ascertain their potential anticancer profile. (3) Results: Two cyclic peptides (WC8 and WC10) displayed promising biological activity, high conformational stability (due to the presence of disulfide bridges), and K-d values in the low micromolar range. The anticancer assays, performed on PC-3 cells, proved that both peptides exhibit antiproliferative effects comparable to those of peptide K1, a known GABARAP inhibitor. (4) Conclusions: WC8 and WC10 can be considered new GABARAP inhibitors to be employed as pharmacological tools or even templates for the rational design of new small molecules.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3454334
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