Disorder-to-Order Markers of a Cyclic Hexapeptide Inspired from the Binding Site of Fertilin b Involved in Fertilization Process

B. Hernandez , P. Legrand , S. Dufay , R. Gahoual , S. Sanchez-Cortes , S.G. Kruglik , J.R. Fabreguettes , J.P. Wolf , P. Houzé , M. Ghomi

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ACS Omega
Published 22 Oct. 2019
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1021/acsomega.9b01885


Synthetic peptides mimicking the binding site of fertilin ? to its receptor, integrin ?6?1, were shown to inhibit sperm?egg fusion when added to in vitro media. In contrast, the synthetic cyclic hexapeptide, cyclo(Cys1-Ser2-Phe3-Glu4-Glu5-Cys6), named as cFEE, proved to stimulate gamete fusion. Owing to its biological speci?city, this hexapeptide could help improve the in vitro fertilization pregnancy rate in human. In an attempt to establish the structure?activity relationship of cFEE, its structural dynamics was herein analyzed by means of ultraviolet circular dichroism (UV-CD) and Raman scattering. The low concentration CD pro?le in water, containing mainly a deep minimum at ?202 nm, is consistent with a rather unordered chain. However, an ordering trend of the peptide loop has been observed in a less polar solvent such as methanol, where the UV-CD signal shape is formed by a double negative marker at ?202/215 nm, indicating the presence of a type-II? ?-turn. Raman spectra recorded in aqueous samples upon a 100-fold concentration increase, still showed an important population (?30%) of the disordered structure. The structural ?exibility of the disul?de bridge was con?rmed by the Raman markers arising from the Cys1-Cys6 disul?de bond-stretch motions. Density functional theory calculations highlighted the formation of the type-II? ?-turn on the four central residues of cFEE (i.e., -Ser2-Phe3-Glu4-Glu5-) either with a left- or with a right-handed disul?de. The structure with a left-handed S?S bond, however, appears to be more stable.

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