Data-driven synthesis of proteolysis-resistant peptide hormones

J Am Chem Soc. 2014 Dec 24;136(51):17710-3. doi: 10.1021/ja5065735. Epub 2014 Dec 12.


Peptide hormones are key physiological regulators, and many would make terrific drugs; however, the therapeutic use of peptides is limited by poor metabolism including rapid proteolysis. To develop novel proteolysis-resistant peptide hormone analogs, we utilize a strategy that relies on data from simple mass spectrometry experiments to guide the chemical synthesis of proteolysis-resistant analogs (i.e., data-driven synthesis). Application of this strategy to oxyntomodulin (OXM), a peptide hormone that stimulates insulin secretion from islets and lowers blood glucose in vivo, defined the OXM cleavage site in serum, and this information was used to synthesize a proteolysis-resistant OXM analog (prOXM). prOXM and OXM have similar activity in binding and glucose stimulated-insulin secretion assays. Furthermore, prOXM is also active in vivo. prOXM reduces basal glucose levels and improves glucose tolerance in mice. The discovery of prOXM suggests that proteolysis-resistant variants of other important peptide hormones can also be found using this strategy to increase the number of candidate therapeutic peptides.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Chemistry Techniques, Synthetic
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Insulin Secretion
  • Islets of Langerhans / drug effects
  • Islets of Langerhans / metabolism
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Peptide Hormones / chemical synthesis*
  • Peptide Hormones / chemistry
  • Peptide Hormones / metabolism
  • Peptide Hormones / pharmacology
  • Proteolysis*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Peptide Hormones