Magdolen, Viktor; Bürgle, Markus; Arroyo de Prada, Nuria; Schmiedeberg, Niko; Riemer, Christoph; Schroeck, Florian; Kellermann, Josef; Degitz, Klaus; Wilhelm, Olaf G.; Schmitt, Manfred; Kessler, Horst (2001): Cyclo19,31[D-Cys19]-uPA19-31 is a potent competitive antagonist of the interaction of urokinase-type plasminogen activator with its receptor (CD87). In: Biological Chemistry, Vol. 382, Nr. 8: S. 1197-1205




Urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) represents a central molecule in pericellular proteolysis and is implicated in a variety of physiological and pathophysiological processes such as tissue remodelling, wound healing, tumor invasion, and metastasis. uPA binds with high affinity to a specific cell surface receptor, uPAR (CD87), via a well defined sequence within the N-terminal region of uPA (uPA(19-31)). This interaction directs the proteolytic activity of uPA to the cell surface which represents an important step in tumor cell proliferation, invasion, and metastasis. Due to its fundamental role in these processes, the uPA/uPAR-system has emerged as a novel target for tumor therapy. Previously, we have identified a synthetic, cyclic, uPA-derived peptide, cyclo(19,31)uPA(19-31), as a lead structure for the development of low molecular weight uPA-analogues, capable of blocking uPA/uPAR-interaction {[}Burgle et al., Biol. Chem. 378 (1997), 231-237]. We now searched for peptide variants of cyclo(19,31)uPA(19-31) with elevated affinities for uPAR binding. Among other tasks, we performed a systematic D-amino acid scan of quPA(19-31), in which each of the 13 L-amino acids was individually substituted by the corresponding D-amino acid. This led to the identification of cyclo(19,31) {[}D-Cys(19)]-uPA(19-31) as a potent inhibitor of uPA/uPAR-interaction, displaying only a 20 to 40-fold lower binding capacity as compared to the naturally occurring uPAR-ligands uPA and its amino-terminal fragment. Cyclo(19,31)[D-Cys(19)]-uPA(19-31) not only blocks binding of uPA to uPAR but is also capable of efficiently displacing uPAR-bound uPA from the cell surface and to inhibit uPA-mediated, tumor cell-associated plasminogen activation and fibrin degradation. Thus, cyclo(19,31)[D-Cys(19)]-uPA(19-31) represents a promising therapeutic agent to significantly affect the tumor-associated uPA/uPAR-system.