Inhibitory effects of H-Ras/Raf-1–binding affibody molecules on synovial cell function

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Affibody molecules specific for H-Ras and Raf-1 were evaluated for their ability to inhibit synovial cell function. Affibody molecules targeting H-Ras (Zras122, Zras220, and Zras521) or Raf-1 (Zraf322) were introduced into the MH7A synovial cell line using two delivery methods: transfection with plasmids encoding the affibody molecules or direct introduction of affibody protein using a cell-penetrating peptide reagent. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) production by MH7A cells were analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay after stimulation with tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α). Cell proliferation was also analyzed. Phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) was analyzed by western blot. All affibody molecules could inhibit IL-6 and PGE2 production in TNF-α-stimulated MH7A cells. The inhibitory effect was stronger when affibody molecules were delivered as proteins via a cell-penetrating peptide reagent than when plasmid-DNA encoding the affibody moelcules was transfected into the cells. Plasmid-expressed Zras220 inhibited phosphorylation of ERK in TNF-α-stimulated MH7A cells. Protein-introduced Zraf322 inhibited the production of IL-6 and PGE2 and inhibited cell proliferation in MH7A cells. These findings suggest that affibody molecules specific for H-Ras and Raf-1 can affect intracellular signal transduction through the MAP kinase pathway to inhibit cell proliferation and production of inflammatory mediators by synovial cells.




Shibasaki, S., Karasaki, M., Gräslund, T., Nygren, P. Å., Sano, H., & Iwasaki, T. (2014). Inhibitory effects of H-Ras/Raf-1–binding affibody molecules on synovial cell function. AMB Express, 4(1), 1–9.

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