Jump to main content
Jump to site search


Dithiocarbamate-inspired side chain stapling chemistry for peptide drug design

Author affiliations

Abstract

Two major pharmacological hurdles severely limit the widespread use of small peptides as therapeutics: poor proteolytic stability and membrane permeability. Importantly, low aqueous solubility also impedes the development of peptides for clinical use. Various elaborate side chain stapling chemistries have been developed for α-helical peptides to circumvent this problem, with considerable success in spite of inevitable limitations. Here we report a novel peptide stapling strategy based on the dithiocarbamate chemistry linking the side chains of residues Lys(i) and Cys(i + 4) of unprotected peptides and apply it to a series of dodecameric peptide antagonists of the p53-inhibitory oncogenic proteins MDM2 and MDMX. Crystallographic studies of peptide–MDM2/MDMX complexes structurally validated the chemoselectivity of the dithiocarbamate staple bridging Lys and Cys at (i, i + 4) positions. One dithiocarbamate-stapled PMI derivative, DTCPMI, showed a 50-fold stronger binding to MDM2 and MDMX than its linear counterpart. Importantly, in contrast to PMI and its linear derivatives, the DTCPMI peptide actively traversed the cell membrane and killed HCT116 tumor cells in vitro by activating the tumor suppressor protein p53. Compared with other known stapling techniques, our solution-based DTC stapling chemistry is simple, cost-effective, regio-specific and environmentally friendly, promising an important new tool for the development of peptide therapeutics with improved pharmacological properties including aqueous solubility, proteolytic stability and membrane permeability.

Graphical abstract: Dithiocarbamate-inspired side chain stapling chemistry for peptide drug design

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 24 Jul 2018, accepted on 23 Nov 2018 and first published on 30 Nov 2018


Article type: Edge Article
DOI: 10.1039/C8SC03275K
Citation: Chem. Sci., 2019, Advance Article
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
  •   Request permissions

    Dithiocarbamate-inspired side chain stapling chemistry for peptide drug design

    X. Li, W. D. Tolbert, H. Hu, N. Gohain, Y. Zou, F. Niu, W. He, W. Yuan, J. Su, M. Pazgier and W. Lu, Chem. Sci., 2019, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C8SC03275K

    This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence. Material from this article can be used in other publications provided that the correct acknowledgement is given with the reproduced material.

    Reproduced material should be attributed as follows:

    • For reproduction of material from NJC:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the RSC.
    • For reproduction of material from PCCP:
      [Original citation] - Published by the PCCP Owner Societies.
    • For reproduction of material from PPS:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the European Society for Photobiology, the European Photochemistry Association, and RSC.
    • For reproduction of material from all other RSC journals:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.

    Information about reproducing material from RSC articles with different licences is available on our Permission Requests page.

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements