Data_Sheet_1_Switching Between Bicyclic and Linear Peptides — The Sulfhydryl-Specific Linker TPSMB Enables Reversible Cyclization of Peptides.pdf

Phage display-selected bicyclic peptides have already shown their great potential for the development as bioactive modulators of therapeutic targets. They can provide enhanced proteolytic stability and improved membrane permeability. Molecular design of new linker molecules has led to a variety of new synthetic approaches for the generation of chemically constrained cyclic peptides. This diversity can be useful for the development of novel peptide-based therapeutic, diagnostic, and scientific tools. Herein, we introduce 1,3,5-tris((pyridin-2-yldisulfanyl)methyl)benzene (TPSMB) as a planar, trivalent, sulfhydryl-specific linker that facilitates reversible cyclization and linearization via disulfide bond formation and cleavage of bicyclic peptides of the format CXnCXnC, where X is any proteinogenic amino acid except cysteine. The rapid and highly sulfhydryl-specific reaction of TPSMB under physiological conditions is demonstrated by selecting bicyclic peptide binders against c-Jun N-terminal kinase 3 (JNK3) as a model target. While model peptides remain stably cyclized for several hours in presence of typical blood levels of glutathione in vitro, high cytosolic concentrations of glutathione linearize these peptides completely within 1 h. We propose that reversible linkers can be useful tools for several technical applications where target affinity depends on the bicyclic structure of the peptide.