Generation of a potent Low Density Lipoprotein Receptor-related Protein 1 (LRP1) antagonist by engineering a stable form of the Receptor-Associated Protein (RAP) D3 domain [Molecular Bases of Disease]

May 26th, 2015 by Prasad, J. M., Migliorini, M., Galisteo, R., Strickland, D. K.

The low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1 (LRP1) is a member of the low density lipoprotein receptor (LDLr) family and plays important roles in a number of physiological and pathological processes. Expression of LRP1 requires the receptor-associated protein (RAP), a molecular chaperone that binds LRP1 and other LDLr family members in the endoplasmic reticulum and traffics with them to the Golgi, where the acidic environment causes its dissociation. Exogenously added RAP is a potent LRP1 antagonist and binds to LRP1 on the cell surface preventing ligands from binding. Following endocytosis, RAP dissociates in the acidic endosome, allowing LRP1 to recycle back to the cell surface. The acid-induced dissociation of RAP is mediated by its D3 domain, a relatively unstable three-helical bundle, that denatures at pH < 6.2 due to protonation of key histidine residues on helices 2 and 3. In order to develop an LRP1 inhibitor that does not dissociate at low pH, we introduced a disulfide bond between the second and third helices in the RAP D3 domain. By combining this disulfide bond with elimination of key histidine residues, we generated a Stable RAP molecule that is resistant to both pH- and heat-induced denaturation. This molecule bound to LRP1 with high affinity at both neutral and acidic pH and proved to be a potent inhibitor of LRP1 function both in vitro and in vivo, suggesting that our Stable RAP molecule may be useful in multiple pathological settings where LRP1 blockade has been shown to be effective.
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