Dr. Yong Ran & Colleagues publish in June 5, 2015 PLoS One journal

Differential Inhibition of Signal Peptide Peptidase Family Members by Established gamma-Secretase Inhibitors. Ran Y, Ladd GZ, Ceballos-Diaz C, Jung JI, Greenbaum D, Felsenstein KM, Golde TE. PLoS One 2015; 10(6):e0128619.

The signal peptide peptidases (SPPs) are biomedically important proteases implicated as therapeutic targets for hepatitis C (human SPP, (hSPP)), plasmodium (Plasmodium SPP (pSPP)), and B-cell immunomodulation and neoplasia (signal peptide peptidase like 2a, (SPPL2a)). To date, no drug-like, selective inhibitors have been reported. We use a recombinant substrate based on the amino-terminus of BRI2 fused to amyloid β 1-25 (Aβ1-25) (FBA) to develop facile, cost-effective SPP/SPPL protease assays. Co-transfection of expression plasmids expressing the FBA substrate with SPP/SPPLs were conducted to evaluate cleavage, which was monitored by ELISA, Western Blot and immunoprecipitation/MALDI-TOF Mass spectrometry (IP/MS). No cleavage is detected in the absence of SPP/SPPL overexpression. Multiple γ-secretase inhibitors (GSIs) and (Z-LL)2 ketone differentially inhibited SPP/SPPL activity; for example, IC50 of LY-411,575 varied from 51±79 nM (on SPPL2a) to 5499±122 nM (on SPPL2b), while Compound E showed inhibition only on hSPP with IC50 of 1465±93 nM. Data generated were predictive of effects observed for endogenous SPPL2a cleavage of CD74 in a murine B-Cell line. Thus, it is possible to differentially inhibit SPP family members. These SPP/SPPL cleavage assays will expedite the search for selective inhibitors. The data also reinforce similarities between SPP family member cleavage and cleavage catalyzed by γ-secretase.

PMID: 26046535