|Title of Invention
"AN IL-15 ACTIVITY ANTAGONIST PEPTIDE."
|Current invention is related to the molecular pharmacology branch particularly to a peptide belonging to the lnterleukin-15 sequence (IL-15) which is able to inhibit IL-15 biological activity, analogues or mimetic of such peptides. In the current invention it is shown that the peptide inhibits both IL-15-induced T cells proliferation upon binding to the IL15 receptor a subunit (IL15Ra) and TNFa-mediated apoptosis. Besides, this invention is related to the use of this peptide in the treatment of several pathologies where aberrant IL-15 or IL-15Ra expression is associated to the disease progression.
Field of invention
The current invention is related to the branch of molecular pharmacology particularly to a peptide from lnterleukin-15 (IL-15) which impairs IL-15 binding to the receptor alpha subunit; therefore, it could be useful for treatment of diseases associated with aberrant expression of IL-15 or IL-15R
Ziolkowska et al., reported that IL-15 induces IL-17 expression at joints from RA patients, it is already known that this cytokine stimulates release by synoviocytes of several inflammatory mediators such as IL-6, IL-8, GM-CSF, and prostaglandin E2 suggesting an important role for IL-15 in the RA pathogenesis (Ziolkowska y col 2000, J Immunol, 164: 2832-2838). T cells recruitment and activation may occur as a consequence of IL-15 local synthesis and such non specific activation could bring as a result an endless inflammation. All this suggest that IL-15 inhibition could have a therapeutic potential on the disease treatment as well as other auto-immune and inflammatory diseases.
The IL-15 biological effects are mediated through its binding to a cell membrane receptor composed of three subunits a,(3, and y. The IL-15Ra is a specific subunit for this cytokine to whom is bound with a very high affinity Kd 10~11, and may be found as a membrane receptor or in a soluble form (Budagian V. et al., JBC 2004, 279, 39: 40368-40375; Mortier et al., The Journal of Immunology, 2004, 173: 1681-1688).
Subunits (3 and y are shared with IL-2, a cytokine with a high structural homology to IL-15. It has been previously described that Asp56 in the IL-15 molecule is important in the binding to the receptor |3 subunit and Gln156 is important in the binding to receptor y subunit
Muteins behave like IL-15 antagonists molecules bound to the receptor a subunit and impair signal transduction through p and y subunits. Antibodies which recognizes these aminoacids, also act as IL-15 antagonists (US6177079, US6168783, US6013480, US6001973, US9706931, WO9741232).
uchatz et al. (Ruchatz H. 1998, J. Immunol. 160: 5654-5660) generated a soluble fragment of the murine a receptor subunit (IL-15Ra) and demonstrated that injection of this fragment inhibited collagen-induced artritis (CIA) in DBA/1 mice.
Genmab Company owes the Patent of specific human antibodies against IL-15, WO03017935, where 4 antibodies are described and 2 of them, 146B7 and 146H5 bind to IL-15 in the receptor y subunit interacting region and inhibit IL-15-induced cell proliferation in the cell line CTLL2 and in PBMC (peripheral blood mononuclear cells), and antibodies 404A8 and 404E4 which do not inhibit proliferation. The 146B7 antibody (Amgen) under the name AMG714 is in Rheumatoid Arthritis Clinical Trials Phase II.
Recently, two IL-15 binding sequences to the receptor a subunit were identified, from aminoacid 44 to 52 and from aminoacid 64 to 68 (Bernard et al., JBC 2004, 279 (23), 24313-24322). They described muteins which can act .^ either as IL-15 agonist or antagonist.
So far, it has not been described any IL-15 antagonist peptide. Use of a short length peptide (10 aa) as an IL-15 antagonist has the advantage to selectively block IL-15 binding to receptor a subunit and mediate or impair IL-15 effects due to IL-15-receptor interaction. For example, as described in current >G invention, peptide named Sec. No.1 spans a 10 aminoacids region of IL-15 which we identified as the interacting region with the receptor a subunit (Fig 1). Such peptide binds IL-15Ra-Fc fusion protein in ELISA and in Tentagel resin assay (Fig. 2), inhibits IL-15-dependent CTLL-2 cell line proliferation (Fig. 3a and 3b), and protects from TNFa-induced apoptosis (Fig. 4), this effect is mediated by IL-15 binding to the receptor a chain. This latter effect allows its use in diseases where it is necessary to inhibit the apoptotic process. Likewise, the binding of this peptide to the soluble chain a as described in current invention may inhibit reverse signalling mediated by membrane-associated IL-15 (Budalgian et al., JBC 2004, vol 279, No 40: pp 42192-42201).
DETAILED OF INVENTION DESCRIPTION
Particularly, this invention is referred to identification of an IL-15 region which is capable to bind IL-15Ra subunit. The peptide comprising this region here
named Sec. No. 1 was chemically synthesized and has binding capacity to IL-
15 Ra-Fc (Fig. 2), inhibits IL-15-induced CTLL2 proliferation and protects from
TNFa-induced DNA fragmentation (Fig. 4).
This invention also includes any homologue or mimetic variants of former
peptide which have been obtained by recombinant or synthetic approaches as
well as any formulation containing them.
Likewise, this invention also includes the use of the afore mentioned peptide,
alone or in combination with any other appropriate molecule, for example,
anti-inflammatory steroid drugs (corticosteroids), disease modifiers drugs
(methotrexate) or another cytokines antagonist used in Rheumatoid Arthritis
treatment and use of this peptide to inhibit binding of IL-15 to receptor a
subunit either soluble or in membrane- associated forms.
Peptide in current invention has a lineal structure and is mainly characterized
by its capability to antagonize IL-15. On the other hand, the in vitro effect
produced by the peptide in current invention is demonstrated by a CTLL-2 cell
proliferation assay and by inhibition of TNFa-induced apoptosis assay.
For definition of described peptide it was used a mapping technique on a
cellulose filter that contains IL-15 complete sequence in 10 aa consecutive
peptides with 5 overlapping aminoacids.
In current invention peptide Sec. No. 1 was chemically synthesized by solid
phase technique, purified by HPLC, analyzed by mass spectrometry and
finally evaluated in respect to its effect on IL-15 activity.
Results shown in current invention indicates that identified and synthesized
region as a peptide of 10 aa (Sec. No.1) corresponds to an IL-15 region
interacting with the receptor a subunit and therefore, interferes with IL-15
binding to its receptor inhibiting IL-15-induced T cell proliferation activity.
Peptide (Sec. No. 1) comprising aminoacids of IL-15 interacting with IL-15Ra
mimics IL-15 protection effect of TNFa-induced apoptosis, which is mediated
by binding of IL-15 to IL-15Ra (Bulfone-Paus et al., The FASEB Journal,
1999, September Vol. 13).
Results obtained here suggest its use as a therapeutic tool in the treatment of
aforementioned IL-15 high expression-associated diseases, where it is
justified use of IL-15 antagonists and in those pathologies where an apoptosis
protection effect is needed as well as in soluble IL-15Ra high expression-associated pathologies. Likewise, antibodies which recognize a region comprised in Sec. No.1 in IL-15 will inhibit binding of IL-15 to IL-15Ra and will show an IL-15 antagonist activity by inhibiting binding of the molecules to such receptor subunit, for this reason a peptide coupled to a carrier molecule or MAP (multi-antigenic peptide) chemical conjugate could be used for obtaining IL-15 antagonist antibodies.
The aim of current invention is also applied to DMA encoding for aforementioned peptide. A vector containing a DMA sequence coding for the peptide in current invention may be also used as an alternative for expression of the peptidic sequence.
Peptide described here can be used in combination with another anti-inflammatory and immune-suppressors agents or others cytokines antagonists used in Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriasis, Chron's disease, etc. The peptide described can be included in therapeutic vaccines to elicit an anti-IL-15 humoral response. Invention essence
Current invention consists in identification of an IL-15 sequence (Sec.No. 1) interacting with receptor a subunit. Such sequence synthesized as a lineal 10 aminoacids peptide shows IL-15 antagonist capacity concerning induction of T cell proliferation and an agonist effect concerning protection from TNFa-induced apoptosis. Brief Drawings Description Figurel: IL-15R mapping on cellulose filter.
IL-15Ra-Fc recognizes peptide 8 corresponding to Sec No.1 and to a lesser extent peptide 7
Figure 2: Colorimetric assay in Tentagel S beads.
It was observed color development in beads containing Sec No. 1 peptide incubated with IL-15Ra-Fc (R&D) at 5 ug/mL
2a) Incubation of resin containing a) non-related peptide or b) peptide Sec No.1 with containing resin incubated with 15Ra-Fc (R&D). 2b) Incubation of resin containing peptide Sec No.1 with IL15Ra-Fc (R&D) (a) or peptide Sec No.1, IL15Ra-Fc (R&D) in presence of an excess of IL-15 (b).
Figure 3: CTLL-2 proliferation assay with human IL-15 (R&D) with a specific activity of 108 Ul/mg
3a) CTLL-2 assay at different IL-15 concentrations and a fixed peptide concentration of 260 ^M.
3b) CTLL-2 assay at different peptide Sec No.1 concentrations and a fixed IL-15 concentration of 300 pg/mL.
Figure 4: Apoptosis induction assay in the L929 cell line. Cells were incubated with TNFa (100 ng/mL) alone or in combination with peptide Sec No.1 (260^M) EXAMPLES FOR REALIZATION
The following examples are provided to illustrate current invention embodiments
Example 1: A. Identification of binding region to IL-15Ra. Synthesis of 10-mer peptides on cellulose support corresponding to the am/no acid sequence of IL-15
To identify IL-15 regions involved in IL-15Ra binding, the peptide spot synthesis approach was used as previously described Frank ef. a/.. The derivation of Whatman 540 paper was carried out estherifying the first anchor component, Fmoc-p-Ala-OH, using N,N'-Diisopropylcarbodiimide (DIG) and N-methylimidazole (NMI) in dry N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF). The spot array on the cellulose membrane was defined anchoring the Fmoc-p-Ala-OH on the previously marked positions, according to the required number of 10-mer peptides (22 peptides, overlapping in 5 residues, 114 amino acids of IL-15 sequence). Besides, a non-related 10 amino acids peptide was synthesized on spot 23 and also on spot 24 only Fmoc-p-Ala-OH was anchoring, both as controls. For the assembly of all these molecules, the standard Fmoc-/tBu chemistry was used. After the final cycle of synthesis, the N-terminus and side chains of all peptides were de-protected.
Binding ofanti-IL-15 Abs to peptides synthesized on cellulose support Cellulose sheet was soaked in ethanol to prevent possible hydrophobic interactions between the peptides on it. Ethanol was exchanged against Tris-buffer saline (TBS) (150 mM NaCI, 10 mM Tris, pH 7.6) by sequential washing. Nonspecific binding was blocked by incubating membrane overnight
in 10 ml of TBS blocking buffer (5 % Powdered milk in TBS). The sheet was subsequently incubated for 3 hours with IL-15 a-Receptor, diluted in 10 ml of T-TBS sample buffer (5 % Powdered milk, 0.5 % Tween-20 in TBS). For serum, 1:50 dilution was used. IL-15 a-Receptor was prepared at 5 ng/mL, in the same buffer solution. Cellulose sheet was washed four times with T-TBS buffer. Then an alkaline phosphatase conjugate anti-IgG (Fc specific) (Sigma) was added, diluted in T-TBS sample buffer, for 1 hour (1:25000 dilution for anti-human IgG in IL-15 a-Receptor assay. The cellulose sheet was washed four times again, with T-TBS and detection of peptide bound was achieved by incubating the membrane with 0.5 mg/mL of 5-Bromo 4-Chloro 3-lndolyl Phosphate (BCIP) (Sigma) in substrate buffer (100 mM NaCI, 2 mM MgCI2, 100 mM Tris, pH 8.9). Positive spots developed a blue/violet color. Washing with PBS stopped staining. Cellulose sheet was finally regenerated for others assays as previously described (Frank, R. (1992) Tetrahedron 48, 9217). We observed the recognition of two peptides, 8 and 7. As experimental control the membrane was incubated with a humanized monoclonal antibody containing Fc region of the human lgG1. In this case we did not observe recognition of any peptide on the membrane.
Beads colorimetric assay demonstrating peptide binding to IL-15Ra Synthesis of peptide Sec. No.1 on NH2-Tentagel-S resin The resin NH2-Tentagel-S (0.24 mmol/g) was washed several times with di-chlorometane (DCM) and methanol. Then, it was incubated in a trifluoroacetic acid (TFA) solution 30 % for 10 minutes; washed several times with DCM and incubated in di-isopropilethilamine (DIEA) 5% in DCM for 1 minute. This procedure activated the NH2 groups for synthesis. Later, it was washed with DCM and incubated in di-methylformamide (DMF) for 5 minutes to synthesize the peptide. The conventional Fmoc/tBu strategy of synthesis was used. Coupling reactions were followed by ninhidrine test. Once peptide Sec. No.1 sequence was completed, aminoacids side chains were de-protected, leaving it anchored by its C-terminal to the resin. Assay on beads
Resin beads with anchored peptide were several times washed with saline solution (PBS). Non specific interactions were blocked with BSA (1%) in PBS
for I hour at RT. Then, they were incubated with IL-15Ra-Fc fusion protein (R&D 147-IR) at 5 jig/ml in BSA (1% / PBS) for 16 hours at 4°C. Later, beads were washed in PBS three fold for 5 minutes with shaking and then incubated with anti-Fc IgG human-phosphatase conjugate diluted 1:25000 in BSA (1% / PBS) for three hours at RT. They were extensively washed with a saline solution (TBS/Tween-20, 1 %) and incubated with BCIP (0.45 mg/mL) in substrate solution (100 mM Tris, pH 8.9; 100 mM NaCI; 2 mM MgCI2) for approximately 30 minutes. They were washed four fold with PBS to stop reaction. An intense blue color was only observed when resin-containing Sec. No. 1 peptide was incubated with the IL-15Ra-Fc protein and not when a resin containing a non related peptide was incubated with IL-15Ra-Fc. In that case, the chromogen substrate does not precipitate and do not develop color. Likewise, we did not observed color in presence of an excess of human IL-15. Peptides Synthesis
The peptides were synthesized by Fmoc/tBu strategy, utilizing Fmoc-AM-MBHA resin at 0,54 mmol/g and synthesis protocols with mechanical shaking. After TFA treatment, the peptide was lyophilized and tested by HPLC-MS
Example 2: Effect of described peptides on CTLL2 cell line proliferation
The cytokine-dependent cell line CTLL-2 proliferates in presence of IL-15. IL-15 bound molecules impairing receptor depending signal transduction would inhibit this cell line proliferation.
To evaluate the neutralizing capacity the peptide of the present invention, serial dilutions of them were done in 96 well plates (Costar, USA) in 25 (iL volume of RPMI medium (Gibco) supplemented with 10 % fetal bovine serum (Gibco). Previously washed CTLL-2 cells were added to 5 x 103 cells / well and it was incubated for 30 min. Then, 300 pg of IL-15 were added to each well. Plate was incubated for 72 h at 5 % CO2 and 37°C. The results are shown in Figure 3b. We observed that peptide referred as Sec No.1 inhibited the IL-15 induced proliferation with an ICso of 130 ^M To measure proliferation MTT mitochondria! staining was used (Cosman et al. 1984, Nature, 312: 768-771). We also evaluated the antagonist effect of 260 uM of this peptide at
different IL-15 concentrations (Figure 3a). The inhibitory effect of peptide was
dependent on IL-15 doses.
Example 3: Apoptosis induction in L929 cells
The DNA Fragmentation Assay allows to determine the amount of DNA that is degraded upon treatment of cells with TNF-alpha. The cells' DNA is radioactively labeled by growing the cells in presence of 3H-Thymidine so that radioactive 3H-Thymidine is incorporated into the DNA. After 24h the cells were treated with Tripsin/EDTA, washed and seeded at 5000 cells per well in a 96 well plate. Then, the labeled cells were incubated with TNFa (100 ng/mL), IL-15 (100 ng/mL), peptides (260 (iM) or combinations of TNFa with different peptides.
During this incubation the added agent (e.g. TNFa induces cells to die by apoptosis and consequently the fragmentation of DNA while the DNA of untreated cells remains intact). After 24 h the cells were harvested: during harvesting, the cells were washed out of the wells of the 96 well plate with bidestilated water: the cells and organelles burst and the cell's DNA is set free. The cell fragments and DNA are passed through a filter membrane (glassfiber). Only particles of smaller than 1,5 urn can pass the filter. So, intact DNA (with a fragment length in the range of milimeters or even centimeters) will not be able to pass the filter but be collected on the filter membrane. DNA that was cleaved/degraded into fragments of about 5000 bp or less will be small enough to pass the pores of the filter and won't be collected on the filter. The filter membrane was dried and the amount of radioactivity (what corresponds to the amount of intact DNA) counted in a scintillation counter. The percentage of DNA fragmentation was calculated by comparing the counted radioactivity (counts per minute = cpm) of cells that were not treated with the cpm in cells that were treated with agent. As result we observed that the peptide Sec.No.1 protected form TNF induced apoptosis. Example 4: Monoclonal antibodies preparation
The monoclonal antibodies were obtained as described by Georges Kohler and Cesar Milstein (Nature, 256:495-497, 1975). The peptide Sec No1 conjugated to KLH or a chemical conjugate containing 4 molecules of this
peptide were used to raised monoclonal antibodies than bind and inhibit IL-15 activity..
Mice were immunized subcutaneously with a conjugated peptide that was prepared for injection by emulsifying with Freund's adjuvant in amount of 10 to 100 ng, followed by every other week subcutaneous immunizations with peptide in incomplete Freund's adjuvant. The immune response to IL-15 was monitored by ELISA. Mice with sufficient titer of anti-IL-15 immunoglobulin were boosted intravenously 3 days before sacrifice and removal of the spleen. To generate hybridomas producing monoclonal antibodies to IL-15 we used the refereed protocol published in Nature, 256:495-497, 1975.The resulting hybridomas were screening for the production of specific antibodies to IL-15 or peptide by ELISA and by inhibitory effect on IL-15 activity in CTLL-2 assay. Positive clones were inoculated into the peritoneal cavity of syngenic mice to produce ascitis and resulting monoclonal antibody was purified by ammonium sulphate precipitation and affinity chromatography based in the binding of the antibody to the protein A from Staphylococcus aureus. Example 5: Evaluation of the peptide Sec No. 1 in the generation of neutralizing antibodies in Macacus irus monkeys.
Three groups were evaluated in a monkey's immunization scheme, immunized with a peptide conjugated to a carrier protein, chemically-conjugated peptide as a tetramer (MAP); and placebo. The proteins were administered in amounts of 100 (ig to 200 jag per inoculation in Freund's adjuvant. Second immunization was done one month later and third immunization was done two months later. Two week after second and third immunization blood was extracted to evaluate level of anti-IL15 antibodies in the monkeys' sera. The neutralizing capacity of antibodies present in monkeys' sera was tested by CTLL-2 assay at the present of 300 pg of IL-15. Advantages of the proposed solution Peptide Sec No.1 selectively inhibits binding of IL-15 to IL-15Ra. Peptide Sec No.1 antagonizes IL-15-induced proliferation effect on T cells (CTLL-2 cells) and besides, it is an agonist of the IL-15 apoptosis protective effect on cells sensitive to TNFa-induced apoptosis.
1 An IL-15 activity antagonist peptide characterized in that it consists an amino acrd sequence described as Seq. ID No.1 of the sequences listing
2. A peptide according to claim 1 charactered by Its binding to the «L-15R«
cellular subunit or its solubfe fraction.
3. A peptide according to claim 1 characterized by its inhibition of JL-15R«-
depending IL-15 biological activity according to claim 2.
4. Peptides characterized in that it consists a sequence derived from the
peptide of the claim 1 and capable to bind subunit a of the IL-15 cellular
receptor or to its soluble fraction according to claim 2 and mimic the effect of
the peptide in claim 3
5. A peptide according to claims 1, 2, 3 and 4 characterized by being an active
component of the pharmaceutical formulation capable to inhibit cellular IL-
15Ra-dependlng IL-15 biological activity.
6. A peptide according to claims 1. 2, 3. 4 and 5 characterized by being
obtained by genetic manipulation or by chemical synthesis.
7. A nucleic acid chain characterized by encoding for a peptide of claim 1, its
product is capable to bind cellular IL15Rct or its soluble fraction and inhibits
IL-15 biological activity.
8. A nucleic acid chain according to daim 7 characterized by while being part of
an expression vector is capable to inhibit IL-15Ra-depending IL-15 biological
9. A pharmaceutical formulation characterized by being a therapeutic
formulation capable of inhibiting iL-15Rcc-depending IL-15 biological activity
and contains a peptide according to claims 1, 2. 3, 4, 5 and 6, alone,
conjugated or combined.
10. A pharmaceutical formulation characterized by being a therapeutic
formulation capable of inhibiting cellular IL-15Ra-depending IL-15 biological
activity and contains a nucleic acid chain according to daim 8.
11 A vaccine formulation characterized by being a therapeutic vaccine that contains a peptide according to claims 1, 2, 3, 4. 5 and 6 and is capable to
elicit an inhibitory response of the cellular IL-1 SRcKtepending IL-tS biological activity.
12. Use of this peptide according to claims 1, 2, 3, 4. 5 and 6 in the treatment of
13. Use of this peptide according to 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 in the treatment of
14. Use of this peptide according to 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 in the treatment of
15. A monodonal antibody characterized by being capable of recognize the
peptide of claims 1, 2, 3,4, 5 and 6.
16. Use of the monoclonal antibody according to claim 15 in the treatment of
Rheumatoid arthritis. Chron's disease and psoriasis.
17. An amino acid sequence, a peptide, a nucleic acid chain, a
pharmaceutical formulation, a vaccine formulation, a monoclonal
antibody and use thereof substantially as herein described with
reference to the accompanying sequence listings, drawings and as
illustrated in the foregoing examples.
|Indian Patent Application Number
|PG Journal Number
|Date of Filing
|Name of Patentee
|CENTRO DE INGENIERIA GENETICA Y BIOTECHNOLOGIA
|AVE. 31 ENTRE 158 Y 190, CUBANACAN, PLAYA, C. HABANA 12100, CUBA.
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|PCT International Application Number
|PCT International Filing date