Peptide hormones are key physiological regulators, and many would make terrific drugs; however, the therapeutic use of peptides is limited by poor metabolism including rapid proteolysis. To develop novel proteolysis-resistant peptide hormone analogs, we utilize a strategy that relies on data from simple mass spectrometry experiments to guide the chemical synthesis of proteolysis-resistant analogs (i.e., data-driven synthesis). Application of this strategy to oxyntomodulin (OXM), a peptide hormone that stimulates insulin secretion from islets and lowers blood glucose in vivo, defined the OXM cleavage site in serum, and this information was used to synthesize a proteolysis-resistant OXM analog (prOXM). prOXM and OXM have similar activity in binding and glucose stimulated-insulin secretion assays. Furthermore, prOXM is also active in vivo. prOXM reduces basal glucose levels and improves glucose tolerance in mice. The discovery of prOXM suggests that proteolysis-resistant variants of other important peptide hormones can also be found using this strategy to increase the number of candidate therapeutic peptides.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry