Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy

Multivalent presentation of antihantavirus peptides on nanoparticles enhances infection blockade.

PMID 18391034


Viral entry into susceptible host cells typically results from multivalent interactions between viral surface proteins and host entry receptors. In the case of Sin Nombre virus (SNV), a New World hantavirus that causes hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome, infection involves the interaction between viral membrane surface glycoproteins and the human integrin alpha(v)beta(3). Currently, there are no therapeutic agents available which specifically target SNV. To address this problem, we used phage display selection of cyclic nonapeptides to identify peptides that bound SNV and specifically prevented SNV infection in vitro. We synthesized cyclic nonapeptides based on peptide sequences of phage demonstrating the strongest inhibition of infection, and in all cases, the isolated peptides were less effective at blocking infection (9.0% to 27.6% inhibition) than were the same peptides presented by phage (74.0% to 82.6% inhibition). Since peptides presented by the phage were pentavalent, we determined whether the identified peptides would show greater inhibition if presented in a multivalent format. We used carboxyl linkages to conjugate selected cyclic peptides to multivalent nanoparticles and tested infection inhibition. Two of the peptides, CLVRNLAWC and CQATTARNC, showed inhibition that was improved over that of the free format when presented on nanoparticles at a 4:1 nanoparticle-to-virus ratio (9.0% to 32.5% and 27.6% to 37.6%, respectively), with CQATTARNC inhibition surpassing 50% when nanoparticles were used at a 20:1 ratio versus virus. These data illustrate that multivalent inhibitors may disrupt polyvalent protein-protein interactions, such as those utilized for viral infection of host cells, and may represent a useful therapeutic approach.

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Thallium(III) trifluoroacetate, technical grade