Inhibitor K562 (IK) protein was first isolated from the culture medium of K562 cells, a leukemia cell line, and is an inhibitory regulator of interferon-γ-induced major histocompatibility complex class II expression. Recently, exogenous truncated IK (tIK) protein showed potential as a therapeutic agent for inflammation-related diseases. In this study, we designed a novel putative anti-inflammatory peptide derived from tIK protein based on homology modeling of the human interleukin-10 (hIL-10) structure, and investigated whether the peptide exerted inhibitory effects against proinflammatory cytokines such as IL-17 and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α). The peptide contains key residues involved in binding hIL-10 to the IL-10 receptor, and exerted strong inhibitory effects on IL- 17 (43.8%) and TNF-α (50.7%). In addition, we used circular dichroism spectroscopy to confirm that the peptide is usually present in a random coil configuration in aqueous solution. In terms of toxicity, the peptide was found to be biologically safe. The mechanisms by which the short peptide derived from human tIK protein exerts inhibitory effects against IL-17 and TNF-α should be explored further. We also evaluated the feasibility of using this novel peptide in skincare products.
Keywords: Anti-inflammatory; inhibitor K562; interleukin-17; truncated IK; tumor necrosis factor-α.