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Wichapong, Kanin; Alard, Jean-Eric; Ortega-Gomez, Almudena; Weber, Christian; Hackeng, Tilman M.; Soehnlein, Oliver; Nicolaes, Gerry A. F. (2016): Structure-Based Design of Peptidic Inhibitors of the Interaction between CC Chemokine Ligand 5 (CCL5) and Human Neutrophil Peptides 1 (HNP1). In: Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, Vol. 59, Nr. 9: S. 4289-4301
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Protein-protein interactions (PPIs) are receiving increasing interest, much sparked by the realization that they represent druggable targets. Recently, we successfully developed a peptidic inhibitor, RRYGTSKYQ("SKY" peptide), that shows high potential in vitro and in vivo to interrupt a PPI between the platelet-borne chemokine CCL5 and the neutrophil-derived granule protein HNP1. This PPI plays a vital role in monocyte adhesion, representing a key mechanism in acute and chronic inflammatory diseases. Here, we present extensive and detailed computational methods applied to develop the SKY peptide. We combined experimentally determined binding affinities (K-D) of several orthologs of CCL5 with HNP1 with in silico studies to identify the most likely heterodimeric CCL5 HNP1 complex which was subsequently used as a starting structure to rationally design peptidic inhibitors. Our method represents a fast and simple approach that can be widely applied to determine other protein protein complexes and moreover to design inhibitors or stabilizers of protein-protein interaction.