Table4_Design of a Proteolytically Stable Sodium-Calcium Exchanger 1 Activator Peptide for In Vivo Studies.XLSX (12.34 kB)
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Table4_Design of a Proteolytically Stable Sodium-Calcium Exchanger 1 Activator Peptide for In Vivo Studies.XLSX

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posted on 18.10.2021, 10:25 by Pimthanya Wanichawan, Jonas Skogestad, Marianne Lunde, Thea Parsberg Støle, Maria Stensland, Tuula A. Nyman, Ivar Sjaastad, Ole M. Sejersted, Jan Magnus Aronsen, Cathrine Rein Carlson

The cardiac sodium–calcium exchanger (NCX1) is important for normal Na+- and Ca2+-homeostasis and cardiomyocyte relaxation and contraction. It has been suggested that NCX1 activity is reduced by phosphorylated phospholemman (pSer68-PLM); however its direct interaction with PLM is debated. Disruption of the potentially inhibitory pSer68-PLM-NCX1 interaction might be a therapeutic strategy to increase NCX1 activity in cardiac disease. In the present study, we aimed to analyze the binding affinities and kinetics of the PLM-NCX1 and pSer68-PLM-NCX1 interactions by surface plasmon resonance (SPR) and to develop a proteolytically stable NCX1 activator peptide for future in vivo studies. The cytoplasmic parts of PLM (PLMcyt) and pSer68-PLM (pSer68-PLMcyt) were found to bind strongly to the intracellular loop of NCX1 (NCX1cyt) with similar KD values of 4.1 ± 1.0 nM and 4.3 ± 1.9 nM, but the PLMcyt-NCX1cyt interaction showed higher on/off rates. To develop a proteolytically stable NCX1 activator, we took advantage of a previously designed, high-affinity PLM binding peptide (OPT) that was derived from the PLM binding region in NCX1 and that reverses the inhibitory PLM (S68D)-NCX1 interaction in HEK293. We performed N- and C-terminal truncations of OPT and identified PYKEIEQLIELANYQV as the minimum sequence required for pSer68-PLM binding. To increase peptide stability in human serum, we replaced the proline with an N-methyl-proline (NOPT) after identification of N-terminus as substitution tolerant by two-dimensional peptide array analysis. Mass spectrometry analysis revealed that the half-life of NOPT was increased 17-fold from that of OPT. NOPT pulled down endogenous PLM from rat left ventricle lysate and exhibited direct pSer68-PLM binding in an ELISA-based assay and bound to pSer68-PLMcyt with a KD of 129 nM. Excess NOPT also reduced the PLMcyt-NCX1cyt interaction in an ELISA-based competition assay, but in line with that NCX1 and PLM form oligomers, NOPT was not able to outcompete the physical interaction between endogenous full length proteins. Importantly, cell-permeable NOPT-TAT increased NCX1 activity in cardiomyocytes isolated from both SHAM-operated and aorta banded heart failure (HF) mice, indicating that NOPT disrupted the inhibitory pSer68-PLM-NCX1 interaction. In conclusion, we have developed a proteolytically stable NCX1-derived PLM binding peptide that upregulates NCX1 activity in SHAM and HF cardiomyocytes.