NMR-driven discovery of benzoylanthranilic acid inhibitors of far upstream element binding protein binding to the human oncogene c-myc promoter.

Huth JR, Yu L, Collins I, Mack J, Mendoza R, Isaac B, Braddock DT, Muchmore SW, Comess KM, Fesik SW, Clore GM, Levens D, Hajduk PJ
J Med Chem. 2004 47 (20): 4851-7

PMID: 15369388 · DOI:10.1021/jm0497803

Reversal of aberrant gene expression that is induced by the proto-oncogene c-myc is likely to be effective for treating a variety of tumors that rely on this pathway for growth. One strategy to down-regulate the c-myc pathway is to target transcription factors that regulate its own expression. A host of proteins act in coordination to regulate c-myc expression and any one of them are theoretical targets for small-molecule therapy. Experimentally, it has been shown that the far upstream element (FUSE) binding protein (FBP) is essential for c-myc expression, and reductions in FBP levels both reduce c-myc expression and correlate with slower cell growth. FBP binds to ssDNA by capturing exposed DNA bases in a hydrophobic pocket. This suggests that a small molecule could be designed to occupy this pocket and inhibit FBP function. Using a variety of screening methodologies, we have identified ligands that bind to the DNA binding pockets of the KH domains of FBP. Gel shift analyses using full length FBP and a related transcription factor confirm that a small-molecule lead compound inhibits DNA binding in a specific manner. The benzoylanthranilic acid compounds described here represent leads in the design of FBP inhibitors that can serve as useful tools in the study of c-myc regulation and in the development of therapeutics that target the c-myc pathway.

MeSH Terms (18)

Binding Sites Combinatorial Chemistry Techniques DNA, Single-Stranded DNA-Binding Proteins DNA Helicases Drug Design Genes, myc Humans Inhibitory Concentration 50 Ligands Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy Models, Molecular Promoter Regions, Genetic Protein Conformation Protein Structure, Tertiary Repetitive Sequences, Amino Acid RNA-Binding Proteins Structure-Activity Relationship

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