The cyclic hexapeptide CWLDVC (TBC 772) is an antagonist of alpha4 integrins and a potent inhibitor of lymphocyte interactions with fibronectin, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, and muscosal vascular addressin cell adhesion molecule-1 (MAdCAM-1). As such, peptide TBC 772 effectively inhibits the activation of freshly isolated human T lymphocytes stimulated with purified vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 coimmobilized with anti-CD3 mAb. The influence of peptide binding on distinct sites of the alpha4beta1 complex was determined by flow cytometry and cellular adhesion assays employing a panel of mAbs. Binding of the alpha4-specific mAb L25 and the beta1-specific mAb 33B6 was not altered by the peptide; however, binding of mAb 19H8, which is specific for a combinatorial epitope of alpha4beta1, was dramatically inhibited. Treatment of lymphocytes with the peptide caused an increase in a ligand-induced epitope on beta1 integrin defined by mAb 15/7. In T cell activation studies using coimmobilized anti-CD3 mAb and the anti-integrin mAbs, the peptide had broader inhibitory activity, suppressing costimulation induced by all the integrin mAbs. The peptide was not generally toxic and was integrin selective in its suppressive activity, as coactivation by ligation of CD3 in conjunction with CD28 or CD26 was not affected. These results suggest that the antagonist peptide CWLDVC can effectively neutralize integrin coactivation systems by a mechanism independent of competitive binding.

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