Publications by authors named "A Schiefner"

40 Publications

Molecular recognition of structurally disordered Pro/Ala-rich sequences (PAS) by antibodies involves an Ala residue at the hot spot of the epitope.

J Mol Biol 2021 Sep 20;433(18):167113. Epub 2021 Jun 20.

Lehrstuhl für Biologische Chemie, Technische Universität München, Emil-Erlenmeyer-Forum 5, 85354 Freising, Germany; XL-protein GmbH, Lise-Meitner-Strasse 30, 85354 Freising, Germany. Electronic address:

Pro/Ala-rich sequences (PAS) are polypeptides that were developed as a biological alternative to poly-ethylene glycol (PEG) to generate biopharmaceuticals with extended plasma half-life. Like PEG, PAS polypeptides are conformationally disordered and show high solubility in water. Devoid of any charged or prominent hydrophobic side chains, these biosynthetic polymers represent an extreme case of intrinsically disordered proteins. Despite lack of immunogenicity of PAS tags in numerous animal studies we now succeeded in generating monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) against three different PAS versions. To this end, mice were immunized with a PAS#1, P/A#1 or APSA 40mer peptide conjugated to keyhole limpet hemocyanin as highly immunogenic carrier protein. In each case, one MAb with high binding activity and specificity towards a particular PAS motif was obtained. The apparent affinity was strongly dependent on the avidity effect and most pronounced for the bivalent MAb when interacting with a long PAS repeat. X-ray structural analysis of four representative anti-PAS Fab fragments in complex with their cognate PAS epitope peptides revealed interactions dominated by hydrogen bond networks involving the peptide backbone as well as multiple Van der Waals contacts arising from intimate shape complementarity. Surprisingly, Ala, the L-amino acid with the smallest side chain, emerged as a crucial feature for epitope recognition, contributing specific contacts at the center of the paratope in several anti-PAS complexes. Apart from these insights into how antibodies can recognize feature-less peptides without secondary structure, the MAbs characterized in this study offer valuable reagents for the preclinical and clinical development of PASylated biologics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jmb.2021.167113DOI Listing
September 2021

Proline/alanine-rich sequence (PAS) polypeptides as an alternative to PEG precipitants for protein crystallization.

Acta Crystallogr F Struct Biol Commun 2020 Jul 1;76(Pt 7):320-325. Epub 2020 Jul 1.

Lehrstuhl für Biologische Chemie, Technische Universität München, 85354 Freising, Germany.

Proline/alanine-rich sequence (PAS) polypeptides represent a novel class of biosynthetic polymers comprising repetitive sequences of the small proteinogenic amino acids L-proline, L-alanine and/or L-serine. PAS polymers are strongly hydrophilic and highly soluble in water, where they exhibit a natively disordered conformation without any detectable secondary or tertiary structure, similar to polyethylene glycol (PEG), which constitutes the most widely applied precipitant for protein crystallization to date. To investigate the potential of PAS polymers for structural studies by X-ray crystallography, two proteins that were successfully crystallized using PEG in the past, hen egg-white lysozyme and the Fragaria × ananassa O-methyltransferase, were subjected to crystallization screens with a 200-residue PAS polypeptide. The PAS polymer was applied as a precipitant using a vapor-diffusion setup that allowed individual optimization of the precipitant concentration in the droplet in the reservoir. As a result, crystals of both proteins showing high diffraction quality were obtained using the PAS precipitant. The genetic definition and precise macromolecular composition of PAS polymers, both in sequence and in length, distinguish them from all natural and synthetic polymers that have been utilized for protein crystallization so far, including PEG, and facilitate their adaptation for future applications. Thus, PAS polymers offer potential as novel precipitants for biomolecular crystallography.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1107/S2053230X20008328DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7336357PMC
July 2020

Design of a surrogate Anticalin protein directed against CD98hc for preclinical studies in mice.

Protein Sci 2020 08 16;29(8):1774-1783. Epub 2020 Jun 16.

Lehrstuhl für Biologische Chemie, Technische Universität München, Freising, Germany.

The human CD98 heavy chain (CD98hc) offers a promising biomedical target both for tumor therapy and for drug delivery to the brain. We have previously developed a cognate Anticalin protein with picomolar affinity and demonstrated its effectiveness in a xenograft animal model. Due to the lack of cross-reactivity with the murine ortholog, we now report the development and X-ray structural analysis of an Anticalin with high affinity toward CD98hc from mouse. This binding protein recognizes the same protruding epitope loop-despite distinct structure-in the membrane receptor ectodomain as the Anticalin selected against human CD98hc. Thus, this surrogate Anticalin should be useful for the preclinical assessment of CD98hc targeting in vivo and support the translational development for medical application in humans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pro.3894DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7380666PMC
August 2020

Engineering a Highly Active Sucrose Isomerase for Enhanced Product Specificity by Using a "Battleship" Strategy.

Chembiochem 2020 08 16;21(15):2161-2169. Epub 2020 Apr 16.

Lehrstuhl für Biologische Chemie, Technische Universität München, Emil-Erlenmeyer-Forum 5, 85354, Freising, Germany.

The sucrose isomerase SmuA from Serratia plymuthica efficiently catalyses the isomerisation of sucrose into isomaltulose, an artificial sweetener used in the food industry. However, the formation of a hygroscopic by-product, trehalulose, necessitates additional separation to obtain a crystalline product. Therefore, we have improved the product specificity of SmuA by first introducing a few exploratory amino acid exchanges around the active site and investigating their influence. Then, we devised a second set of mutations, either at promising positions from the preceding cycle, but with a different side chain, or at alternative positions in the vicinity. After seven iterative cycles involving just 55 point mutations, we obtained the triple mutant Y219L/D398G/V465E which showed 2.3 times less trehalulose production but still had high catalytic efficiency (k /K =11.8 mM  s ). Not only does this mutant SmuA appear attractive as an industrial biocatalyst, but our semirational protein-engineering strategy, which resembles the battleship board game, should be of interest for other challenging enzyme optimization endeavours.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cbic.202000007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7496859PMC
August 2020

Development of a high affinity Anticalin directed against human CD98hc for theranostic applications.

Theranostics 2020 12;10(5):2172-2187. Epub 2020 Jan 12.

Lehrstuhl für Biologische Chemie, Technische Universität München, 85354 Freising, Germany.

Enhanced amino acid supply and dysregulated integrin signaling constitute two hallmarks of cancer and are pivotal for metastatic transformation of cells. In line with its function at the crossroads of both processes, overexpression of CD98hc is clinically observed in various cancer malignancies, thus rendering it a promising tumor target. : We describe the development of Anticalin proteins based on the lipocalin 2 (Lcn2) scaffold against the human CD98hc ectodomain (hCD98hcED) using directed evolution and protein design. X-ray structural analysis was performed to identify the epitope recognized by the lead Anticalin candidate. The Anticalin - with a tuned plasma half-life using PASylation technology - was labeled with Zr and investigated by positron emission tomography (PET) of CD98-positive tumor xenograft mice. : The Anticalin P3D11 binds CD98hc with picomolar affinity and recognizes a protruding loop structure surrounded by several glycosylation sites within the solvent exposed membrane-distal part of the hCD98hcED. studies revealed specific binding activity of the Anticalin towards various CD98hc-expressing human tumor cell lines, suggesting broader applicability in cancer research. PET/CT imaging of mice bearing human prostate carcinoma xenografts using the optimized and Zr-labeled Anticalin demonstrated strong and specific tracer accumulation (8.6 ± 1.1 %ID/g) as well as a favorable tumor-to-blood ratio of 11.8. : Our findings provide a first proof of concept to exploit CD98hc for non-invasive biomedical imaging. The novel Anticalin-based αhCD98hc radiopharmaceutical constitutes a promising tool for preclinical and, potentially, clinical applications in oncology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7150/thno.38968DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7019167PMC
April 2021
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