A CXCL8 receptor antagonist based on the structure of N-acetyl-proline-glycine-proline.

Academic Article


  • A role for the collagen-derived tripeptide, N-acetyl proline-glycine-proline (NAc-PGP), in neutrophil recruitment in chronic airway inflammatory diseases, including COPD and cystic fibrosis, has recently been delineated. Due to structural similarity to an important motif for interleukin-8 (CXCL8) binding to its receptor, NAc-PGP binds to CXCR1/2 receptors, leading to neutrophil activation and chemotaxis. In an effort to develop novel CXCL8 antagonists, we describe the synthesis of four chiral isomers of NAc-PGP (NAc-L-Pro-Gly-L-Pro (LL-NAc-PGP), NAc-L-Pro-Gly-D-Pro (LD-NAc-PGP), NAc-D-Pro-Gly-L-Pro (DL-NAc-PGP), and NAc-D-Pro-Gly-D-Pro (DD-NAc-PGP)), characterize them by circular dichroism and NMR spectroscopy, compare their structures to the equivalent region of CXCL8, and test them as potential antagonists of ll-NAc-PGP and CXCL8. We find that LL-NAc-PGP superimposes onto the CXCR1/2 contacting E(29)S(30)G(31)P(32) region of CXCL8 (0.59A rmsd for heavy atoms). In contrast, DD-NAc-PGP has an opposing orientation of key functional groups as compared to the G(31)P(32) region of CXCL8. As a consequence, DD-NAc-PGP binds CXCR1/2, as demonstrated by competition with radiolabeled CXCL8 binding in a radioreceptor assay, yet acts as a receptor antagonist as evidenced by inhibition of CXCL8 and LL-NAc-PGP mediated neutrophil chemotaxis. The ability of DD-NAc-PGP to prevent the activation of CXC receptors indicates that DD-NAc-PGP may serve as a lead compound for the development of CXCR1/2 inhibitors. In addition, this study further proves that using a different technical approach, namely preincubation of NAc-PGP instead of simultaneous addition of NAc-PGP with radiolabeled CXCL8, the direct binding of NAc-PGP to the CXCL8 receptor is evident.
  • Published In


  • Binding, Competitive, Chemotaxis, Leukocyte, Circular Dichroism, Drug Design, Drug Stability, HL-60 Cells, Humans, Interleukin-8, Isomerism, Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, Molecular Dynamics Simulation, Neutrophils, Oligopeptides, Protein Conformation, Receptors, Interleukin-8, Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Jackson PL; Noerager BD; Jablonsky MJ; Hardison MT; Cox BD; Patterson JC; Dhanapal B; Blalock JE; Muccio DD
  • Start Page

  • 435
  • End Page

  • 442
  • Volume

  • 668
  • Issue

  • 3