Rational Design of Right-handed Heterogeneous Peptidomimetics as Inhibitors of Protein–protein Interactions

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Peptidomimetics have gained great attention for their function as protein–protein interaction (PPI) inhibitors. Herein, we report the design and investigation of a series of right-handed helical heterogeneous 1:1 α/Sulfono-γ-AA peptides as unprecedented inhibitors for p53-MDM2 and p53-MDMX. The most potent helical heterogeneous 1:1 α/Sulfono-γ-AA peptides were shown to bind tightly to MDM2 and MDMX, with Kd of 19.3 and 66.8 nM, respectively. Circular dichroism spectra, 2D-NMR spectroscopy, and the computational simulations suggested that these helical sulfono-γ-AA peptides could mimic the critical side chains of p53 and disrupt p53/MDM2 PPI effectively. It was noted that these 1:1 α/Sulfono-γ-AA peptides were completely resistant to proteolytic degradation, boosting their potential for biomedical applications. Furthermore, effective cellular activity is achieved by the stapled 1:1 α/Sulfono-γ-AA peptides, evidenced by significantly enhanced p53 transcriptional activity and much more induced level of MDM2 and p21. The 1:1 α/Sulfono-γ-AA peptides could be an alternative strategy to antagonize a myriad of PPIs.

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Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, v. 63, issue 21, p. 13187-13196