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WD repeat domain 5 (WDR5) is a member of the WD40-repeat protein family that plays a critical role in multiple chromatin-centric processes. Overexpression of WDR5 correlates with a poor clinical outcome in many human cancers, and WDR5 itself has emerged as an attractive target for therapy. Most drug-discovery efforts center on the WIN site of WDR5 that is responsible for the recruitment of WDR5 to chromatin. Here, we describe discovery of a novel WDR5 WIN site antagonists containing a dihydroisoquinolinone bicyclic core using a structure-based design. These compounds exhibit picomolar binding affinity and selective concentration-dependent antiproliferative activities in sensitive MLL-fusion cell lines. Furthermore, these WDR5 WIN site binders inhibit proliferation in MYC-driven cancer cells and reduce MYC recruitment to chromatin at MYC/WDR5 co-bound genes. Thus, these molecules are useful probes to study the implication of WDR5 inhibition in cancers and serve as a potential starting point toward the discovery of anti-WDR5 therapeutics.
Structures of biomolecular systems are increasingly computed by integrative modeling. In this approach, a structural model is constructed by combining information from multiple sources, including varied experimental methods and prior models. In 2019, a Workshop was held as a Biophysical Society Satellite Meeting to assess progress and discuss further requirements for archiving integrative structures. The primary goal of the Workshop was to build consensus for addressing the challenges involved in creating common data standards, building methods for federated data exchange, and developing mechanisms for validating integrative structures. The summary of the Workshop and the recommendations that emerged are presented here.
Copyright © 2019.
We previously generated a panel of human monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against Zika virus (ZIKV) and identified one, ZIKV-116, that shares germline usage with mAbs identified in multiple donors. Here we show that ZIKV-116 interferes with ZIKV infection at a post-cellular attachment step by blocking viral fusion with host membranes. ZIKV-116 recognizes the lateral ridge of envelope protein domain III, with one critical residue varying between the Asian and African strains responsible for differential binding affinity and neutralization potency (E393D). ZIKV-116 also binds to and cross-neutralizes some dengue virus serotype 1 (DENV1) strains, with genotype-dependent inhibition explained by variation in a domain II residue (R204K) that potentially modulates exposure of the distally located, partially cryptic epitope. The V-J reverted germline configuration of ZIKV-116 preferentially binds to and neutralizes an Asian ZIKV strain, suggesting that this epitope may optimally induce related B cell clonotypes. Overall, these studies provide a structural and molecular mechanism for a cross-reactive mAb that uniquely neutralizes ZIKV and DENV1.
© 2019 Zhao et al.
Sterol 14α-demethylases (CYP51) are the cytochrome P450 enzymes required for biosynthesis of sterols in eukaryotes, the major targets for antifungal agents and prospective targets for treatment of protozoan infections. Human CYP51 could be and, for a while, was considered as a potential target for cholesterol-lowering drugs (the role that is now played by statins, which are also in clinical trials for cancer) but revealed high intrinsic resistance to inhibition. While microbial CYP51 enzymes are often inhibited stoichiometrically and functionally irreversibly, no strong inhibitors have been identified for human CYP51. In this study, we used comparative structure/functional analysis of CYP51 orthologs from different biological kingdoms and employed site-directed mutagenesis to elucidate the molecular basis for the resistance of the human enzyme to inhibition and also designed, synthesized, and characterized new compounds. Two of them inhibit human CYP51 functionally irreversibly with their potency approaching the potencies of azole drugs currently used to inhibit microbial CYP51.
is an important human pathogen that infects nearly every human tissue. Like most organisms, the acquisition of nutrient iron is necessary for its survival. One route by which it obtains this metal is through the iron-regulated surface determinant (Isd) system that scavenges iron from the hemoglobin of the host. We show that the heavy chain variable region gene commonly encodes human monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) targeting IsdB-NEAT2. Remarkably, these antibodies bind to multiple antigenic sites. One class of -encoded mAbs blocks heme acquisition by binding to the heme-binding site of NEAT2, while two additional classes reduce the bacterial burden by an alternative Fc receptor-mediated mechanism. We further identified clonal lineages of -encoded mAbs using donor samples, showing that each lineage diversifies during infection by somatic hypermutation. These studies reveal that encoded antibodies contribute to a protective immune response, furthering our understanding of the correlates of protection against infection. The human pathogen causes a wide range of infections, including skin abscesses and sepsis. There is currently no licensed vaccine to prevent infection, and its treatment has become increasingly difficult due to antibiotic resistance. One potential way to inhibit pathogenesis is to prevent iron acquisition. The iron-regulated surface determinant (Isd) system has evolved in to acquire hemoglobin from the human host as a source of heme-iron. In this study, we investigated the molecular and structural basis for antibody-mediated correlates against a member of the Isd system, IsdB. The association of immunoglobulin heavy chain variable region gene-encoded human monoclonal antibodies with the response against IsdB is described using structural and functional studies to define the importance of this antibody class. We also determine that somatic hypermutation in the development of these antibodies hinders rather than fine-tunes the immune response to IsdB.
Copyright © 2019 Bennett et al.
Influenza viruses antagonize key immune defence mechanisms via the virulence factor non-structural protein 1 (NS1). A key mechanism of virulence by NS1 is blocking nuclear export of host messenger RNAs, including those encoding immune factors; however, the direct cellular target of NS1 and the mechanism of host mRNA export inhibition are not known. Here, we identify the target of NS1 as the mRNA export receptor complex, nuclear RNA export factor 1-nuclear transport factor 2-related export protein 1 (NXF1-NXT1), which is the principal receptor mediating docking and translocation of mRNAs through the nuclear pore complex via interactions with nucleoporins. We determined the crystal structure of NS1 in complex with NXF1-NXT1 at 3.8 Å resolution. The structure reveals that NS1 prevents binding of NXF1-NXT1 to nucleoporins, thereby inhibiting mRNA export through the nuclear pore complex into the cytoplasm for translation. We demonstrate that a mutant influenza virus deficient in binding NXF1-NXT1 does not block host mRNA export and is attenuated. This attenuation is marked by the release of mRNAs encoding immune factors from the nucleus. In sum, our study uncovers the molecular basis of a major nuclear function of influenza NS1 protein that causes potent blockage of host gene expression and contributes to inhibition of host immunity.
Abasic (AP) sites are one of the most common DNA lesions that block replicative polymerases. 5-hydroxymethylcytosine binding, embryonic stem cell-specific protein (HMCES) recognizes and processes these lesions in the context of single-stranded DNA (ssDNA). A HMCES DNA-protein cross-link (DPC) intermediate is thought to shield the AP site from endonucleases and error-prone polymerases. The highly evolutionarily conserved SOS-response associated peptidase (SRAP) domain of HMCES and its Escherichia coli ortholog YedK mediate lesion recognition. Here we uncover the basis of AP site protection by SRAP domains from a crystal structure of the YedK DPC. YedK forms a stable thiazolidine linkage between a ring-opened AP site and the α-amino and sulfhydryl substituents of its amino-terminal cysteine residue. The thiazolidine linkage explains the remarkable stability of the HMCES DPC, its resistance to strand cleavage and the proteolysis requirement for resolution. Furthermore, its structure reveals that HMCES has specificity for AP sites in ssDNA at junctions found when replicative polymerases encounter the AP lesion.
Extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK1/2) are mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) that play a pro-tumorigenic role in numerous cancers. ERK1/2 possess two protein-docking sites that are distinct from the active site: the D-recruitment site (DRS) and the F-recruitment site. These docking sites facilitate substrate recognition, intracellular localization, signaling specificity, and protein complex assembly. Targeting these sites on ERK in a therapeutic context may overcome many problems associated with traditional ATP-competitive inhibitors. Here, we identified a new class of inhibitors that target the ERK DRS by screening a synthetic combinatorial library of more than 30 million compounds. The screen detects the competitive displacement of a fluorescent peptide from the DRS of ERK2. The top molecular scaffold from the screen was optimized for structure-activity relationship by positional scanning of different functional groups. This resulted in 10 compounds with similar binding affinities and a shared core structure consisting of a tertiary amine hub with three functionalized cyclic guanidino branches. Compound 2507-1 inhibited ERK2 from phosphorylating a DRS-targeting substrate and prevented the phosphorylation of ERK2 by a constitutively active MEK1 (MAPK/ERK kinase 1) mutant. Interaction between an analogue, 2507-8, and the ERK2 DRS was confirmed by nuclear magnetic resonance and X-ray crystallography. 2507-8 forms critical interactions at the common docking domain residue Asp319 via an arginine-like moiety that is shared by all 10 hits, suggesting a common binding mode. The structural and biochemical insights reported here provide the basis for developing new ERK inhibitors that are not ATP-competitive but instead function by disrupting critical protein-protein interactions.
Lyn kinase (Lck/Yes related novel protein tyrosine kinase) belongs to the family of Src-related non-receptor tyrosine kinases. Consistent with physiological roles in cell growth and proliferation, aberrant function of Lyn is associated with various forms of cancer, including leukemia, breast cancer and melanoma. Here, we determine a 1.3 Å resolution crystal structure of the polyproline-binding SH3 regulatory domain of human Lyn kinase, which adopts a five-stranded β-barrel fold. Mapping of cancer-associated point mutations onto this structure reveals that these amino acid substitutions are distributed throughout the SH3 domain and may affect Lyn kinase function distinctly.
Overexpression of myeloid cell leukemia-1 (Mcl-1) in cancers correlates with high tumor grade and poor survival. Additionally, Mcl-1 drives intrinsic and acquired resistance to many cancer therapeutics, including B cell lymphoma 2 family inhibitors, proteasome inhibitors, and antitubulins. Therefore, Mcl-1 inhibition could serve as a strategy to target cancers that require Mcl-1 to evade apoptosis. Herein, we describe the use of structure-based design to discover a novel compound (42) that robustly and specifically inhibits Mcl-1 in cell culture and animal xenograft models. Compound 42 binds to Mcl-1 with picomolar affinity and inhibited growth of Mcl-1-dependent tumor cell lines in the nanomolar range. Compound 42 also inhibited the growth of hematological and triple negative breast cancer xenografts at well-tolerated doses. These findings highlight the use of structure-based design to identify small molecule Mcl-1 inhibitors and support the use of 42 as a potential treatment strategy to block Mcl-1 activity and induce apoptosis in Mcl-1-dependent cancers.