Fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF2) plays a major role in angiogenesis. The pattern recognition receptor long-pentraxin 3 (PTX3) inhibits the angiogenic activity of FGF2. To identify novel FGF2-antagonistic peptide(s), four acetylated (Ac) synthetic peptides overlapping the FGF2-binding region PTX3-(97-110) were assessed for their FGF2-binding capacity. Among them, the shortest pentapeptide Ac-ARPCA-NH(2) (PTX3-[100-104]) inhibits the interaction of FGF2 with PTX3 immobilized to a BIAcore sensorchip and suppresses FGF2-dependent proliferation in endothelial cells, without affecting the activity of unrelated mitogens. Also, Ac-ARPCA-NH(2) inhibits angiogenesis triggered by FGF2 or by tumorigenic FGF2-overexpressing murine endothelial cells in chick and zebrafish embryos, respectively. Accordingly, the peptide hampers the binding of FGF2 to Chinese Hamster ovary cells overexpressing the tyrosine-kinase FGF receptor-1 (FGFR1) and to recombinant FGFR1 immobilized to a BIAcore sensorchip without affecting heparin interaction. In all the assays the mutated Ac-ARPSA-NH(2) peptide was ineffective. In keeping with the observation that hydrophobic interactions dominate the interface between FGF2 and the FGF-binding domain of the Ig-like loop D2 of FGFR1, amino acid substitutions in Ac-ARPCA-NH(2) and saturation transfer difference-nuclear magnetic resonance analysis of its mode of interaction with FGF2 implicate the hydrophobic methyl groups of the pentapeptide in FGF2 binding. These results will provide the basis for the design of novel PTX3-derived anti-angiogenic FGF2 antagonists.
© 2009 The Authors Journal compilation © 2010 Foundation for Cellular and Molecular Medicine/Blackwell Publishing Ltd.