Lee, Jungmin; Vernet, Andyna; Gruber, NathalieISTA; Kready, Kasia M.; Burrill, Devin R.; Way, Jeffrey C.; Silver, Pamela A.
Erythropoietin enhances oxygen delivery and reduces hypoxia-induced cell death, but its pro-thrombotic activity is problematic for use of erythropoietin in treating hypoxia. We constructed a fusion protein that stimulates red blood cell production and neuroprotection without triggering platelet production, a marker for thrombosis. The protein consists of an anti-glycophorin A nanobody and an erythropoietin mutant (L108A). The mutation reduces activation of erythropoietin receptor homodimers that induce erythropoiesis and thrombosis, but maintains the tissue-protective signaling. The binding of the nanobody element to glycophorin A rescues homodimeric erythropoietin receptor activation on red blood cell precursors. In a cell proliferation assay, the fusion protein is active at 10−14 M, allowing an estimate of the number of receptor–ligand complexes needed for signaling. This fusion protein stimulates erythroid cell proliferation in vitro and in mice, and shows neuroprotective activity in vitro. Our erythropoietin fusion protein presents a novel molecule for treating hypoxia.
Protein Engineering, Design and Selection
This work was supported by funds from the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and the Boston Biomedical Innovation Center (Pilot Award 112475; Drive Award U54HL119145). J.L., K.M.K., D.R.B., J.C.W. and P.A.S. were supported by the Harvard Medical School Department of Systems Biology. J.C.W. was further supported by the Harvard Medical School Laboratory of Systems Pharmacology. A.V., D.R.B. and P.A.S. were further supported by the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. N.G.G. was sponsored by the Army Research Office under Grant Number W911NF-17-2-0092. The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the official policies, either expressed or implied, of the Army Research Office or the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for Government purposes notwithstanding any copyright notation herein. We sincerely thank Amanda Graveline and the Wyss Institute at Harvard for their scientific support.
Lee J, Vernet A, Gruber N, et al. Rational engineering of an erythropoietin fusion protein to treat hypoxia. Protein Engineering, Design and Selection. 2021;34. doi:10.1093/protein/gzab025
Lee, J., Vernet, A., Gruber, N., Kready, K. M., Burrill, D. R., Way, J. C., & Silver, P. A. (2021). Rational engineering of an erythropoietin fusion protein to treat hypoxia. Protein Engineering, Design and Selection. Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/protein/gzab025
Lee, Jungmin, Andyna Vernet, Nathalie Gruber, Kasia M. Kready, Devin R. Burrill, Jeffrey C. Way, and Pamela A. Silver. “Rational Engineering of an Erythropoietin Fusion Protein to Treat Hypoxia.” Protein Engineering, Design and Selection. Oxford University Press, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1093/protein/gzab025.
J. Lee et al., “Rational engineering of an erythropoietin fusion protein to treat hypoxia,” Protein Engineering, Design and Selection, vol. 34. Oxford University Press, 2021.
Lee J, Vernet A, Gruber N, Kready KM, Burrill DR, Way JC, Silver PA. 2021. Rational engineering of an erythropoietin fusion protein to treat hypoxia. Protein Engineering, Design and Selection. 34, gzab025.
Lee, Jungmin, et al. “Rational Engineering of an Erythropoietin Fusion Protein to Treat Hypoxia.” Protein Engineering, Design and Selection, vol. 34, gzab025, Oxford University Press, 2021, doi:10.1093/protein/gzab025.