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Gallocin-derived Engineered Peptides Targeting EGFR and VEGFR in Colorectal Cancer: A Bioinformatic Approach.

BACKGROUND: Colorectal cancer (CRC) treatment using time-saving and cost-effective targeted therapies with high selectivity and low toxicity drugs, is a great challenge. In primary investigations on Gallocin, as a most proposed factor in CRC pathogenesis caused by Streptococcus gallolyticus, it was surprisingly found that this bacteriocin has four α-helix structures and some anti- cancer sequences.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to determine the ability of Gallocin-based anticancer peptides (ACPs) against epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and vascular epidermal growth factor receptor (VEGFR) and the evaluation of their pharmacokinetics properties using bioinformatics approaches.

METHODS: Support vector machine algorithm web-based tools were used for predicting ACPs. The physicochemical characteristics and the potential of anti-cancer activity of Gallocin-derived ACPs were determined by in silico tools. The 3D structure of predicted ACPs was modeled using modeling tools. The interactions between predicted ACPs and targets were investigated by molecular docking exercises. Then, the stability of ligand-receptor interactions was determined by molecular dynamic simulation. Finally, ADMET analysis was carried out to check the pharmacokinetic properties and toxicity of ACP.

RESULTS: Four amino acid sequences with anti-cancer potential were selected. Through molecular docking, Pep2, and Pep3 gained the best scores, more binding affinity, and strong attachments by the formation of reasonable H-bonds with both EGFR and VEGFR. Molecular simulation confirmed the stability of Pep3- EGFR. According to pharmacokinetic analysis, the ACPs were safe and truthful.

CONCLUSION: Designed peptides can be nominated as drugs for CRC treatment. However, different in-vitro and in-vivo assessments are required to approve this claim.

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