The minimal active structure of human relaxin-2

Mhmd Akhter Hossain, K Johan Rosengren, Chrishan S Samuel, Fazel Shabanpoor, Linda J Chan, Ross A D Bathgate, John D Wade

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37 Citations (Scopus)


H2 relaxin is a peptide hormone associated with a number of therapeutically relevant physiological effects, including regulation of collagen metabolism and multiple vascular control pathways. It is currently in phase III clinical trials for the treatment of acute heart failure due to its ability to induce vasodilation and influence renal function. It comprises 53 amino acids and is characterized by two separate polypeptide chains (A-B) that are cross-linked by three disulfide bonds. This size and complex structure represents a considerable challenge for the chemical synthesis of H2 relaxin, a major limiting factor for the exploration of modifications and derivatizations of this peptide, to optimize effect and drug-like characteristics. To address this issue, we describe the solid phase peptide synthesis and structural and functional evaluation of 24 analogues of H2 relaxin with truncations at the termini of its peptide chains. We show that it is possible to significantly truncate both the N and C termini of the B-chain while still retaining potent biological activity. This suggests that these regions are not critical for interactions with the H2 relaxin receptor, RXFP1. In contrast, truncations do reduce the activity of H2 relaxin for the related receptor RXFP2 by improving RXFP1 selectivity. In addition to new mechanistic insights into the function of H2 relaxin, this study identifies a critical active core with 38 amino acids. This minimized core shows similar antifibrotic activity as native H2 relaxin when tested in human BJ3 cells and thus represents an attractive receptor-selective lead for the development of novel relaxin therapeutics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37555 - 37565
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number43
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

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