Receptor-Based Peptides for Inhibition of Leukotoxin Activity

Krueger, E.; Hayes, S.; Chang, E. H.; Yutuc, S.; Brown, A. C., Receptor-Based Peptides for Inhibition of Leukotoxin Activity. ACS Infect Dis 2018, 4 (7), 1073-1081.

Interaction Type: Protein-peptide

Abstract: The Gram-negative bacterium Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, commonly associated with localized aggressive periodontitis (LAP), secretes an RTX (repeats-in-toxin) protein leukotoxin (LtxA) that targets human white blood cells, an interaction that is driven by its recognition of the lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1) integrin. In this study, we report on the inhibition of LtxA-LFA-1 binding as an antivirulence strategy to inhibit LtxA-mediated cytotoxicity. Specifically, we designed and synthesized peptides corresponding to the reported LtxA binding domain on LFA-1 and characterized their capability to inhibit LtxA binding to LFA-1 and subsequent cytotoxic activity in human immune cells. We found that several of these peptides, corresponding to sequential β-strands in the LtxA-binding domain of LFA-1, inhibit LtxA activity, demonstrating the effectiveness of this approach. Further investigations into the mechanism by which these peptides inhibit LtxA binding to LFA-1 reveal a correlation between toxin-peptide affinity and LtxA-mediated cytotoxicity, leading to a diminished association between LtxA and LFA-1 on the cell membrane. Our results demonstrate the possibility of using target-based peptides to inhibit LtxA activity, and we expect that a similar approach could be used to hinder the activity of other RTX toxins.

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