Genetically engineered two-warhead evasins provide a method to achieve precision targeting of disease-relevant chemokine subsets.
Alenazi Y., Singh K., Davies G., Eaton JRO., Elders P., Kawamura A., Bhattacharya S.
Both CC and CXC-class chemokines drive inflammatory disease. Tick salivary chemokine-binding proteins (CKBPs), or evasins, specifically bind subsets of CC- or CXC-chemokines, and could precisely target disease-relevant chemokines. Here we have used yeast surface display to identify two tick evasins: a CC-CKBP, P1243 from Amblyomma americanum and a CXC-CKBP, P1156 from Ixodes ricinus. P1243 binds 11 CC-chemokines with Kd < 10 nM, and 10 CC-chemokines with Kd between 10 and 100 nM. P1156 binds two ELR + CXC-chemokines with Kd < 10 nM, and four ELR + CXC-chemokines with Kd between 10 and 100 nM. Both CKBPs neutralize chemokine activity with IC50 < 10 nM in cell migration assays. As both CC- and CXC-CKBP activities are desirable in a single agent, we have engineered "two-warhead" CKBPs to create single agents that bind and neutralize subsets of CC and CXC chemokines. These results show that tick evasins can be linked to create non-natural proteins that target subsets of CC and CXC chemokines. We suggest that "two-warhead" evasins, designed by matching the activities of parental evasins to CC and CXC chemokines expressed in disease, would achieve precision targeting of inflammatory disease-relevant chemokines by a single agent.