Friday, March 11, 2022

Discovery of Potent and Selective Inhibitors against Protein-Derived Electrophilic Cofactors

Xie Wang, Zongtao Lin, Katelyn A. Bustin, Nate R. McKnight, William H. Parsons, and Megan L. Matthews

Journal of the American Chemical Society 2021
DOI: 10.1021/jacs.1c12748

Electrophilic cofactors are widely distributed in nature and play important roles in many physiological and disease processes, yet they have remained blind spots in traditional activity-based protein profiling (ABPP) approaches that target nucleophiles. More recently, reverse-polarity (RP)-ABPP using hydrazine probes identified an electrophilic N-terminal glyoxylyl (Glox) group for the first time in secernin-3 (SCRN3). The biological function(s) of both the protein and Glox as a cofactor has not yet been pharmacologically validated because of the lack of selective inhibitors that could disrupt and therefore identify its activity. Here, we present the first platform for analyzing the reactivity and selectivity of an expanded nucleophilic probe library toward main-chain carbonyl cofactors such as Glox and pyruvoyl (Pyvl) groups. We first applied the library proteome-wide to profile and confirm engagement with various electrophilic protein targets, including secernin-2 (SCRN2), shown here also to possess a Glox group. A broadly reactive indole ethylhydrazine probe was used for a competitive in vitro RP-ABPP assay to screen for selective inhibitors against such cofactors from a set of commercially available nucleophilic fragments. Using Glox-containing SCRN proteins as a case study, naphthyl hydrazine was identified as a potent and selective SCRN3 inhibitor, showing complete inhibition in cell lysates with no significant cross-reactivity detected for other enzymes. Moving forward, this platform provides the fundamental basis for the development of selective Glox inhibitors and represents a starting point to advance small molecules that modulate electrophile-dependent function.

Chemical Specification of E3 Ubiquitin Ligase Engagement by Cysteine-Reactive Chemistry

Roman C. Sarott, Inchul You, Yen-Der Li, Sean T. Toenjes, Katherine A. Donovan, Pooreum Seo, Martha Ordonez, Woong Sub Byun, Muhammad Murtaz...