New Collaborative Research Article in Molecules (IF: 4.412)

Please check our new research article published in Molecules (IF: 4.412), a collaboration with the research groups of Prof. Nuno Vale (MEDCIDS, FMUP) and Prof. António Almeida (IMED, FFUL).

In this paper, we applied molecular docking to evaluate the possibility of interaction between specific peptides that are being explored to functionalize the surface of well-established nanoparticle carriers, and the Neuropeptide Y receptor type 1, to clarify the mechanism of molecular recognition and a possible mode of interaction that could reflect the observed in vitro results in cells. The results demonstrated a strong association between MAP peptide and this receptor, when compared to both UR-ML299 antagonist and the NPY neurotransmitter. The results also show that MAP interacts through N-terminal amino acid residues with deep insertion into the inside cavity of this receptor, similarly to the UR-ML299 antagonist. More studies must be developed to better understand the possible cellular outcome that can arise from the interaction of MAP with the NPY 1 receptor and to evaluate if MAP has the capability to interact with other NPY receptors. These studies can be crucial to determining the advantage of this adsorption on the surface of nanoparticles.

Development of Neuropeptide Y and Cell-Penetrating Peptide MAP Adsorbed onto Lipid Nanoparticle Surface

Sara Silva, Joana Marto, Lídia M. Gonçalves, Henrique S. Fernandes, Sérgio F. Sousa, António J. Almeida, Nuno Vale

Molecules (2022), DOI: 10.3390/molecules27092734

Functionalization of nanoparticles surfaces have been widely used to improve diagnostic and therapeutic biological outcome. Several methods can be applied to modify nanoparticle surface; however, in this article we focus toward a simple and less time-consuming method. We applied an adsorption method on already formulated nanostructured lipid carriers (NLC) to functionalize these nanoparticles with three distinct peptides sequences. We selected a cell-penetrating peptide (CPP), a lysine modified model amphipathic peptide (Lys(N3)-MAP), CPP/drug complex, and the neuropeptide Y. The aim of this work is to evaluate the effect of several parameters such as peptide concentration, different types of NLC, different types of peptides, and incubation medium on the physicochemical proprieties of NLC and determine if adsorption occurs. The preliminary results from zeta potential analysis indicate some evidence that this method was successful in adsorbing three types of peptides onto NLC. Several non-covalent interactions appear to be involved in peptide adsorption with the possibility of three adsorption peptide hypothesis that may occur with NLC in solution. Moreover, and for the first time, in silico docking analysis demonstrated strong interaction between CPP MAP and NPY Y1 receptor with high score values when compared to standard antagonist and NPY.

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