Synthesis and screening of a random dimeric peptide library using the one-bead-one-dimer combinatorial approach

Saurabh Aggarwal, James L. Harden, Samuel R. Denmeade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Large combinatorial libraries of random peptides have been used for a variety of applications that include analysis of protein-protein interactions, epitope mapping, and drug targeting. The major obstacle in screening these libraries is the loss of specific but low affinity binding peptides during washing steps. Loss of these specific binders often results in isolation of peptides that bind nonspecifically to components used in the selection process. Previously, it has been demonstrated that dimerizing or multimerizing a peptide can remarkably improve its binding kinetics by 10- to 1000-fold due to an avidity effect. To take advantage of this observation, we constructed a random library of 12 amino acid dimeric peptides on polyethylene glycol acrylamide (PEGA) beads by modifying the 'one-bead-one-compound' approach. The chemical synthesis of 100 000 peptides as dimers can be problematic due to steric and aggregation effects and the presence of many peptide sequences that are difficult to synthesize. We have designed a method, described in detail here, to minimize the problems inherent in the synthesis of a dimeric library by modifying the existing 'split and pool' synthetic method. Using this approach the dimeric library was used to isolate a series of peptides that bound selectively to epithelial cancer cells. One peptide with the amino acid sequence QMARIPKRLARH bound as a dimer to prostate cancer cells spiked into the blood but did not bind to circulating hematopoeitic cells. The monomeric form of this peptide, however, did not bind well to the same LNCaP cell line. These data demonstrate that "hits" obtained from such a 'one-bead-one-dimer' library can be used directly for the final application or used as leads for construction of second generation libraries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-340
Number of pages6
JournalBioconjugate Chemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Organic Chemistry


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