A Cyclic Altered Peptide Analogue Based on Myelin Basic Protein 87–99 Provides Lasting Prophylactic and Therapeutic Protection Against Acute Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis

Abstract

In this report, amide-linked cyclic peptide analogues of the 87–99 myelin basic protein (MBP) epitope, a candidate autoantigen in multiple sclerosis (MS), are tested for therapeutic efficacy in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Cyclic altered peptide analogues of MBP87–99 with substitutions at positions 91 and/or 96 were tested for protective effects when administered using prophylactic or early therapeutic protocols in MBP72–85-induced EAE in Lewis rats. The Lys91 and Pro96 of MBP87–99 are crucial T-cell receptor (TCR) anchors and participate in the formation of trimolecular complex between the TCR-antigen (peptide)-MHC (major histocompability complex) for the stimulation of encephalitogenic T cells that are necessary for EAE induction and are implicated in MS. The cyclic peptides were synthesized using Solid Phase Peptide Synthesis (SPPS) applied on the 9-fluorenylmethyloxycarboxyl/tert-butyl Fmoc/tBu methodology and combined with the 2-chlorotrityl chloride resin (CLTR-Cl). Cyclo(91–99)[Ala96]MBP87–99, cyclo(87–99)[Ala91,96]MBP87–99 and cyclo(87–99)[Arg91, Ala96]MBP87–99, but not wild-type linear MBP87–99, strongly inhibited MBP72–85-induced EAE in Lewis rats when administered using prophylactic and early therapeutic vaccination protocols. In particular, cyclo(87–99)[Arg91, Ala96]MBP87–99 was highly effective in preventing the onset and development of clinical symptoms and spinal cord pathology and providing lasting protection against EAE induction

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