Selection of mutant µplasmin for amyloid-β cleavage in vivo

Yang, D.; Zhu, W.; Wang, Y.; Tan, F.; Ma, Z.; Gao, J.; Lin, X. Selection of mutant µplasmin for amyloid-β cleavage in vivo. Scientific reports, 2020, 10 (1), 1-12.

One of the main culprits of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the formation of toxic amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide polymers and the aggregation of Aβ to form plaques in the brain. We have developed techniques to purify the catalytic domain of plasmin, micro-plasmin (µPlm), which can be used for an Aβ-clearance based AD therapy. However, in serum, µPlm is irreversibly inhibited by its principal inhibitor α2-antiplasmin (α2-AP). In this study, we engineered and selected mutant forms of µPlm that are both catalytically active and insensitive to α2-AP inhibition. We identified surface residues of μPlm that might interact and bind α2-AP, and used an alanine-scanning mutagenesis method to select residues having higher activity but lower α2-AP inhibition. Then we employed saturation mutagenesis for further optimize both properties. Modeled complex structure of µPlm/α2-AP shows that F587 is a critical contact residue, which can be used as a starting position for further investigation.