核酸研究2013-09-05 2:58 AM

Small molecule induced reactivation of mutant p53 in cancer cells

The p53 cancer mutant Y220C is an excellent paradigm for rescuing the function of conformationally unstable p53 mutants because it has a unique surface crevice that can be targeted by small-molecule stabilizers. Here, we have identified a compound, PK7088, which is active in vitro: PK7088 bound to the mutant with a dissociation constant of 140 μM and raised its melting temperature, and we have determined the binding mode of a close structural analogue by X-ray crystallography. We showed that PK7088 is biologically active in cancer cells carrying the Y220C mutant by a battery of tests. PK7088 increased the amount of folded mutant protein with wild-type conformation, as monitored by immunofluorescence, and restored its transcriptional functions. It induced p53-Y220C-dependent growth inhibition, cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis. Most notably, PK7088 increased the expression levels of p21 and the proapoptotic NOXA protein. PK7088 worked synergistically with Nutlin-3 on up-regulating p21 expression, whereas Nutlin-3 on its own had no effect, consistent with its mechanism of action. PK7088 also restored non-transcriptional apoptotic functions of p53 by triggering nuclear export of BAX to the mitochondria. We suggest a set of criteria for assigning activation of p53.

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