Blood-feeding arthropods produce antiinflammatory salivary proteins called evasins that function through inhibition of chemokine-receptor signaling in the host. Herein, we show that the evasin ACA-01 from the Amblyomma cajennense tick can be posttranslationally sulfated at two tyrosine residues, albeit as a mixture of sulfated variants. Homogenously sulfated variants of the proteins were efficiently assembled via a semisynthetic native chemical ligation strategy. Sulfation significantly improved the binding affinity of ACA-01 for a range of proinflammatory chemokines and enhanced the ability of ACA-01 to inhibit chemokine signaling through cognate receptors. Comparisons of evasin sequences and structural data suggest that tyrosine sulfation serves as a receptor mimetic strategy for recognizing and suppressing the proinflammatory activity of a wide variety of mammalian chemokines. As such, the incorporation of this posttranslational modification (PTM) or mimics thereof into evasins may provide a strategy to optimize tick salivary proteins for antiinflammatory applications.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Publication status||Published - 9 Jun 2020|