Research Paper Volume 12, Issue 20 pp 20457—20470

Designing high affinity target-binding peptides to HLA-E: a key membrane antigen of multiple myeloma

Ying Yang1,2, , Mingli Sun2, , Zhaojin Yu2, , Jinwei Liu2,3, , Wei Yan1, , Zhuogang Liu1, , Minjie Wei2, , Hongtao Wang1, ,

  • 1 Department of Hematology, Shengjing Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, Liaoning, China
  • 2 Department of Pharmacology, School of Pharmacy, China Medical University, Shenyang, Liaoning, China
  • 3 Department of Pharmacy, Chifeng Municipal Hospital, Chifeng Inner Mongolia, China

Received: April 23, 2020       Accepted: July 21, 2020       Published: October 28, 2020
How to Cite

Copyright: © 2020 Yang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Multiple myeloma (MM) is a plasma cell malignancy that is currently incurable. Finding new targets and designing drugs are crucial for the treatment of MM. The two datasets (GSE6691 and GSE39754) are used to screen highly expressed antigen on MM cells. HLA-E was an ideal target for it was a hub gene, and also located in one of the key clusters. Highly expression of HLA-E mRNA on MM cells was also confirmed by real-time qPCR testing the MM patients’ samples in Shengjing hospital. Crystal structure of HLA-E was obtained from Protein Data Bank (PDB ID: 3CDG) which was used to design targeting peptides with Molecular Operating Environment software. By analyzing interaction between CD94/NKG2A and HLA-E, a peptide with twelve amino acids was screened as a model peptide. Peptides library was constructed by randomly replaced non-key amino acid. Peptide-protein docking method was used to identify high affinity peptides. PEPTIDE 1-3 and model peptide were synthesized and identified the affinity to HLA-E by flow cytometer and confocal laser microscopy. At last, PEPTIDE3 (NALDEYCEDKNR) was found with the highest affinity. Taking all, HLA-E is a new treatment target, and PEPTIDE 3 is an ideal high affinity target-binding peptide candidate.


MM: Multiple myeloma; IMiDs: immunomodulatory drugs; PIs: proteasome inhibitors; HDAC: histone deacetylase; PDC: peptide-drug conjugate; GEO: Gene Expression Omnibus; PPI: protein and protein interaction: network; MOE: Molecular Operating Environment.