Product(s) used in this publication: Computational Chemistry: Molecular Design and Lead Optimization
The human peptidyl prolyl cis/trans isomerase (PPIase) Pin1 has a key role in developmental processes and cell proliferation. Pin1 consists of an N-terminal WW domain and a C-terminal catalytic PPIase domain both targeted specifically to Ser(PO(3)H(2))/Thr(PO(3)H(2))-Pro sequences. Here, we report the enhanced affinity originating from bivalent binding of ligands toward Pin1 compared to monovalent binding. We developed composite peptides where an N-terminal segment represents a catalytic site-directed motif and a C-terminal segment exhibits a predominant affinity to the WW domain of Pin1 tethered by polyproline linkers of different chain length. We used NMR shift perturbation experiments to obtain information on the specific interaction of a bivalent ligand to both targeted sites of Pin1. The bivalent ligands allowed a considerable range of thermodynamic investigations using isothermal titration calorimetry and PPIase activity assays. They expressed up to 350-fold improved affinity toward Pin1 in the nanomolar range in comparison to the monovalent peptides. The distance between the two binding motifs was highly relevant for affinity. The optimum in affinity manifested by a linker length of five prolyl residues between active site- and WW domain-directed peptide fragments suggests that the corresponding domains in Pin1 are allowed to adopt preferred spatial arrangement upon ligand binding.