Shedding light on the drug–target prediction of the anti-inflammatory peptide TnP with bioinformatics tools

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Peptide–protein interactions are involved in various fundamental cellular functions, and their identification is crucial for designing efficacious peptide therapeutics. Drug–target interactions can be inferred by in silico prediction using bioinformatics and computational tools. We patented the TnP family of synthetic cyclic peptides, which is in the preclinical stage of developmental studies for chronic inflammatory diseases such as multiple sclerosis. In an experimental autoimmune enceph-alomyelitis model, we found that TnP controls neuroinflammation and prevents demyelination due to its capacity to cross the blood–brain barrier and to act in the central nervous system blocking the migration of inflammatory cells responsible for neuronal degeneration. Therefore, the identification of potential targets for TnP is the objective of this research. In this study, we used bioinformatics and computational approaches, as well as bioactivity databases, to evaluate TnP–target prediction for proteins that were not experimentally tested, specifically predicting the 3D structure of TnP and its biochemical characteristics, TnP–target protein binding and docking properties, and dynamics of TnP competition for the protein/receptor complex interaction, construction of a network of con-nectivity and interactions between molecules as a result of TnP blockade, and analysis of similarities with bioactive molecules. Based on our results, integrins were identified as important key proteins and considered responsible to regulate TnP-governed pharmacological effects. This comprehensive in silico study will help to understand how TnP induces its anti-inflammatory effects and will also facilitate the identification of possible side effects, as it shows its link with multiple biologically important targets in humans.
Lima C, Eto SF, Lopes-Ferreira M. Shedding light on the drug–target prediction of the anti-inflammatory peptide TnP with bioinformatics tools. Pharmaceuticals. 2022 Aug; 15(8):994. doi:10.3390/ph15080994.
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