Design and Validation of a Specific Scavenger Receptor Class AI Binding Peptide for Targeting the Inflammatory Atherosclerotic Plaque

Filip M. E. Segers*, Haixiang Yu, Tom J. M. Molenaar, Perry Prince, Toshiki Tanaka, Theo J. C. van Berkel, Erik A. L. Biessen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective-Scavenger receptor A (SR-A) is abundantly expressed by macrophage and plays a critical role in foam cell formation and atherogenesis. In search of selective SR-AI antagonists, we have used affinity selection of a phage displayed peptide library on the synthetic extracellular domain of SR-AI. Methods and Results-Phage selection led to an almost 1,000-fold enrichment of SR-AI binding phage, which bound avidly to human THP-1 cells. A 15-mer corresponding to the peptide insert of the major SR-AI binding phage (PP1) displaced phage binding to SR-AI. Peptides, docked to a streptavidin scaffold, were effectively internalized by macrophages in an SR-AI-dependent manner. The enriched phage pool and streptavidin bound PP1 exhibited marked uptake by hepatic macrophages in mice. Importantly, PP1 significantly increased streptavidin as well as particulate accumulation in advanced aortic plaques, and in particular intraplaque macrophage, of apolipoprotein E-/- mice. Conclusion-We have identified a novel peptide antagonist selective for SR-AI; this antagonist could be a valuable tool in SR-AI targeted imaging of atherosclerotic lesions. (Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2012; 32: 971-978.)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)971-U285
JournalArteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012


  • atherosclerosis
  • foam cells
  • lipoproteins
  • macrophages
  • receptors

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