OBJECTIVE: To augment the affinity of AnkGAG1D4 scaffold towards its CA target, through computational predictions and experimental designs.
METHOD: Three dimensional structure of the binary complex formed by AnkGAG1D4 docked to the CA was used as a model for van der Waals (vdW) binding energy calculation. The results generated a simple guideline to select the amino acids for modifications. Following the predictions, modified AnkGAG1D4 proteins were produced and further evaluated for their CA-binding activity, using ELISA-modified method and bio-layer interferometry (BLI).
RESULTS: Tyrosine at position 56 (Y56) in AnkGAG1D4 was experimentally identified as the most critical residue for CA binding. Rational substitutions of this residue diminished the binding affinity. However, vdW calculation preconized to substitute serine for tyrosine at position 45. Remarkably, the affinity for the viral CA was significantly enhanced in AnkGAG1D4-S45Y mutant, with no alteration of the target specificity.
CONCLUSIONS: The S-to-Y mutation at position 45, based on the prediction of interacting amino acids and on vdW binding energy calculation, resulted in a significant enhancement of the affinity of AnkGAG1D4 ankyrin for its CA target. AnkGAG1D4-S45Y mutant represented the starting point for further construction of variants with even higher affinity towards the viral CA, and higher therapeutic potential in the future.
METHODS: We conducted a meta-analysis of four NPC GWAS among Chinese individuals (2,152 cases; 3,740 controls). Forty-three noteworthy findings outside the MHC region were identified and targeted for replication in a pooled analysis of four independent case-control studies across three regions in Asia (4,716 cases; 5,379 controls). A meta-analysis that combined results from the initial GWA and replication studies was performed.
RESULTS: In the combined meta-analysis, rs31489, located within the CLPTM1L/TERT region on chromosome 5p15.33, was strongly associated with NPC (OR = 0.81; P value 6.3 × 10(-13)). Our results also provide support for associations reported from published NPC GWAS-rs6774494 (P = 1.5 × 10(-12); located in the MECOM gene region), rs9510787 (P = 5.0 × 10(-10); located in the TNFRSF19 gene region), and rs1412829/rs4977756/rs1063192 (P = 2.8 × 10(-8), P = 7.0 × 10(-7), and P = 8.4 × 10(-7), respectively; located in the CDKN2A/B gene region).
CONCLUSIONS: We have identified a novel association between genetic variation in the CLPTM1L/TERT region and NPC. Supporting our finding, rs31489 and other SNPs in this region have been reported to be associated with multiple cancer sites, candidate-based studies have reported associations between polymorphisms in this region and NPC, the TERT gene has been shown to be important for telomere maintenance and has been reported to be overexpressed in NPC, and an EBV protein expressed in NPC (LMP1) has been reported to modulate TERT expression/telomerase activity.
IMPACT: Our finding suggests that factors involved in telomere length maintenance are involved in NPC pathogenesis.