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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Influence of stereochemistry of the sequence Arg-Gly-Asp-Xaa on binding specificity in cell adhesion.

Peptides containing the tripeptide sequence Arg-Gly-Asp can duplicate or inhibit the cell attachment-promoting effects of fibronectin and vitronectin. Peptides analogous to a prototype peptide, Gly-Arg-Gly-Asp-Ser-Pro-Cys, the sequence of which was taken from the cell attachment site of fibronectin, were assayed for their relative abilities to inhibit the attachment of cells to a fibronectin or vitronectin substrate. A peptide having the L-Arg residue replaced with D-Arg showed no difference in this capacity, whereas substituting Gly with D-Ala or L-Asp with D-Asp resulted in completely inactive peptides. Replacement of L-Ser with D-Ser drastically reduced the influence that the resulting peptide had on the vitronectin interaction, but this peptide showed little difference in its effect on the binding of cells to fibronectin when compared with the prototype peptide. Furthermore, substitution of the Ser with L-Asn resulted in a peptide that had an apparent increased preference for the fibronectin receptor and decreased preference for the vitronectin receptor. Conversely, threonine in this position gave a peptide with increased preference for the vitronectin receptor, whereas L-Pro in this position gave a completely inactive peptide. Finally, by cyclicizing the prototype peptide to restrict its conformational flexibility, a peptide was obtained that was a much improved inhibitor of attachment of cells to vitronectin and yet nearly inactive with respect to the interactions of cells with fibronectin substrates. These studies lend support to the hypothesis that different Arg-Gly-Asp-directed adhesion receptors can recognize differences in the conformation and environment of the Arg-Gly-Asp tripeptide, and they establish the feasibility of obtaining synthetic probes that are more selective for individual receptors than are the peptides modeled after the natural sequences of adhesive extracellular matrix molecules.[1]


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