The oncoproteins MDM2 and MDMX negatively regulate the activity and stability of the tumor suppressor protein p53, conferring tumor development and survival. Antagonists targeting the p53-binding domains of MDM2 and MDMX kill tumor cells both in vitro and in vivo by reactivating the p53 pathway, promising a class of antitumor agents for cancer therapy. Aided by native chemical ligation and mirror image phage display, we recently identified a D-peptide inhibitor of the p53-MDM2 interaction termed DPMI-α (TNWYANLEKLLR) that competes with p53 for MDM2 binding at an affinity of 219 nM. Increased selection stringency resulted in a distinct D-peptide inhibitor termed DPMI-γ (DWWPLAFEALLR) that binds MDM2 at an affinity of 53 nM. Structural studies coupled with mutational analysis verified the mode of action of these D-peptides as MDM2-dependent p53 activators. Despite being resistant to proteolysis, both DPMI-α and DPMI- γ failed to actively traverse the cell membrane and, when conjugated to a cationic cell-penetrating peptide, were indiscriminately cytotoxic independently of p53 status. When encapsulated in liposomes decorated with an integrin-targeting cyclic-RGD peptide, however, DPMI-α exerted potent p53-dependent growth inhibitory activity against human glioblastoma in cell cultures and nude mouse xenograft models. Our findings validate D-peptide antagonists of MDM2 as a class of p53 activators for targeted molecular therapy of malignant neoplasms harboring WT p53 and elevated levels of MDM2.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - 10 Aug 2010|
- Mirror-image phage display
- Native chemical ligation