Bicyclic peptide ligands pulled out of cysteine-rich peptide libraries
Bicyclic peptide ligands were found to have good binding affinity and target specificity. However, the method applied to generate bicyclic ligands based on phage-peptide alkylation is technically complex and limits its application to specialized laboratories. Herein, we report a method that involves a simpler and more robust procedure that additionally allows screening of structurally more diverse bicyclic peptide libraries. In brief, phage-encoded combinatorial peptide libraries of the format XmCXnCXoCXp are oxidized to connect two pairs of cysteines (C). This allows the generation of 3×(m+n+o+p) different peptide topologies because the fourth cysteine can appear in any of the (m+n+o+p) randomized amino acid positions (X). Panning of such libraries enriched strongly peptides with four cysteines and yielded tight binders to protein targets. X-ray structure analysis revealed an important structural role of the disulfide bridges. In summary, the presented approach offers facile access to bicyclic peptide ligands with good binding affinities.