Arch Biochem Biophys 2019 04 25;665:79-86. Epub 2019 Feb 25.
Laboratory of Biophysics, Department of Cell Biology, University of Brasilia, Campus Darcy Ribeiro, Asa Norte, Brasília, DF, 70910-900, Brazil. Electronic address:
Natural inhibitors of proteases have been classified into different families, among them is the Bowman-Birk Inhibitor (BBI) family. Members of BBI have two structurally reactive loops that simultaneously inhibit trypsin and chymotrypsin. Here, we have investigated the binding of bovine trypsin by a cyclic nonapeptide, named PTRY9 (CTKSIPPQC), derived of the black-eyed pea trypsin/chymotrypsin inhibitor (BTCI) from Vigna unguiculata seeds. This peptide was synthetically produced with the disulfide bond restraining its conformation to mimic the reactive loop that inhibits trypsin. PTRY9 complexed to pancreatic bovine trypsin was crystallized in orthorhombic and trigonal space groups, P222 and P321, with maximum resolutions of 1.15 and 1.61 Å, respectively. The structures presented refinement parameters of R = 14.52 % and R = 15.59 %; R = 15.60 % and R = 18.78 %, and different surface area between the peptide and the enzyme of 1024 Å and 1070 Å, respectively. The binding site of the PTRY9 is similar to that found for BTCI as shown by a r.m.s.d. of 0.358 Å between the superimposed structures and the electrostatic complementary pattern at the enzyme-peptide interface. Additionally, enzyme inhibition assays show that the affinity of trypsin for PTRY9 is smaller than that for BTCI. In vitro assays revealed that, like BTCI, this synthetic peptide is not cytotoxic for normal mammary epithelial MCF-10A cells, but exerts cytotoxic effects on MDA.MB.231 invasive human breast cancer cells.