Structure-Activity Relationship Study Reveals ML240 and ML241 as Potent and Selective Inhibitors of p97 ATPase

Division of Medical Genetics, Department of Pediatrics, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute, 1124 West Carson Street, Torrance, CA 90502 (USA). .
ChemMedChem (Impact Factor: 3.05). 02/2013; 8(2). DOI: 10.1002/cmdc.201200520
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To discover more potent p97 inhibitors, we carried out a structure-activity relationship study of the quinazoline scaffold previously identified from our HTS campaigns. Two improved inhibitors, ML240 and ML241, inhibit p97 ATPase with IC(50) values of 100 nM. Both compounds inhibited degradation of a p97-dependent but not a p97-independent proteasome substrate in a dual-reporter cell line. They also impaired the endoplasmic-reticulum-associated degradation (ERAD) pathway. Unexpectedly, ML240 potently stimulated accumulation of LC3-II within minutes, inhibited cancer cell growth, and rapidly mobilized the executioner caspases 3 and 7, whereas ML241 did not. The behavior of ML240 suggests that disruption of the protein homeostasis function of p97 leads to more rapid activation of apoptosis than is observed with a proteasome inhibitor. Further characterization revealed that ML240 has broad antiproliferative activity toward the NCI-60 panel of cancer cell lines, but slightly lower activity toward normal cells. ML240 also synergizes with the proteasome inhibitor MG132 to kill multiple colon cancer cell lines. Meanwhile, both probes have low off-target activity toward a panel of protein kinases and central nervous system targets. Our results nominate ML240 as a promising starting point for the development of a novel agent for the chemotherapy of cancer, and provide a rationale for developing pathway-specific p97 inhibitors.

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    ABSTRACT: Dominant mutations in p97/VCP (valosin-containing protein) cause a rare multisystem degenerative disease with varied phenotypes that include inclusion body myopathy, Paget's disease of bone, frontotemporal dementia, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. p97 disease mutants have altered N-domain conformations, elevated ATPase activity, and altered cofactor association. We have now discovered a previously unidentified disease-relevant functional property of p97 by identifying how the cofactors p37 and p47 regulate p97 ATPase activity. We define p37 as, to our knowledge, the first known p97-activating cofactor, which enhances the catalytic efficiency (kcat/Km) of p97 by 11-fold. Whereas both p37 and p47 decrease the Km of ATP in p97, p37 increases the kcat of p97. In contrast, regulation by p47 is biphasic, with decreased kcat at low levels but increased kcat at higher levels. By deleting a region of p47 that lacks homology to p37 (amino acids 69-92), we changed p47 from an inhibitory cofactor to an activating cofactor, similar to p37. Our data suggest that cofactors regulate p97 ATPase activity by binding to the N domain. Induced conformation changes affect ADP/ATP binding at the D1 domain, which in turn controls ATPase cycling. Most importantly, we found that the D2 domain of disease mutants failed to be activated by p37 or p47. Our results show that cofactors play a critical role in controlling p97 ATPase activity, and suggest that lack of cofactor-regulated communication may contribute to p97-associated disease pathogenesis.

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