Agonists for the Chemokine Receptor CXCR4

ACS Med Chem Lett. 2011 Aug 11;2(8):597-602. doi: 10.1021/ml200084n. Epub 2011 Jun 6.


The development of agonists for the chemokine receptor CXCR4 could provide promising therapeutic candidates. On the basis of previously forwarded two site model of chemokine-receptor interactions, we hypothesized that linking the agonistic N-terminus of SDF-1 to the T140 backbone would yield new high-affinity agonists of CXCR4. We developed chimeras with the agonistic SDF-1 N-terminus grafted to a T140 side chain and tested their binding affinity and chemotactic agonist activity. While chimeras with the peptide grafted onto position 12 of T140 remained high-affinity antagonists, those bearing the peptide on position 14 were in part agonists. One chimera was a full CXCR4 agonist with 25 nM affinity, and several chimeras showed low nanomolar affinities with partial agonist activity. Our results confirmed that we have developed high-affinity agonists of CXCR4.