Anthony C. Varca, Dominick Casalena, Wai Cheung Chan, Bin Hu, Robert S. Magin, Rebekka M. Roberts, Xiaoxi Liu, He Zhu, Hyuk-Soo Seo, Sirano Dhe-Paganon, Jarrod A. Marto, Douglas Auld, Sara J. Buhrlage,
Cell Chemical Biology, 2021
Deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs) are a class of isopeptidases that regulate ubiquitin dynamics through catalytic cleavage of ubiquitin from protein substrates and ubiquitin precursors. Despite growing interest in DUB biological function and potential as therapeutic targets, few selective small-molecule inhibitors and no approved drugs currently exist. To identify chemical scaffolds targeting specific DUBs and establish a broader framework for future inhibitor development across the gene family, we performed high-throughput screening of a chemically diverse small-molecule library against eight different DUBs, spanning three well-characterized DUB families. Promising hit compounds were validated in a series of counter-screens and orthogonal assays, as well as further assessed for selectivity across expanded panels of DUBs. Through these efforts, we have identified multiple highly selective DUB inhibitors and developed a roadmap for rapidly identifying and validating selective inhibitors of related enzymes.