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Tick chemokine-binding proteins (evasins) are an emerging class of biologicals that target multiple chemokines and show anti-inflammatory activities in preclinical disease models. Using yeast surface display, we identified a CCL8-binding evasin, P672, from the tick Rhipicephalus pulchellus We found that P672 binds CCL8 and eight other CC-class chemokines with a Kd < 10 nm and four other CC chemokines with a Kd between 10 and 100 nm and neutralizes CCL3, CCL3L1, and CCL8 with an IC50 < 10 nm The CC chemokine-binding profile was distinct from that of evasin 1 (EVA1), which does not bind CCL8. We also show that P672's binding activity can be markedly modulated by the location of a StrepII-His purification tag. Combining native MS and bottom-up proteomics, we further demonstrated that P672 is glycosylated and forms a 1:1 complex with CCL8, disrupting CCL8 homodimerization. Homology modeling of P672 using the crystal structure of the EVA1 and CCL3 complex as template suggested that 44 N-terminal residues of P672 form most of the contacts with CCL8. Replacing the 29 N-terminal residues of EVA1 with the 44 N-terminal residues of P672 enabled this hybrid evasin to bind and neutralize CCL8, indicating that the CCL8-binding properties of P672 reside, in part, in its N-terminal residues. This study shows that the function of certain tick evasins can be manipulated simply by adding a tag. We conclude that homology modeling helps identify regions with transportable chemokine-binding functions within evasins, which can be used to construct hybrid evasins with altered properties.

Original publication

DOI

10.1074/jbc.RA117.000487

Type

Journal article

Journal

J Biol Chem

Publication Date

20/04/2018

Volume

293

Pages

6134 - 6146

Keywords

anti-inflammatory therapy, chemokine, chemotaxis, domain swapping, evasin, homology modeling, inflammation, mass spectrometry (MS), protein–protein interaction, tick