Structural basis for high-affinity peptide inhibition of p53 interactions with MDM2 and MDMX.

Institute of Human Virology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 725 West Lombard Street, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Impact Factor: 9.74). 04/2009; 106(12):4665-70. DOI:10.1073/pnas.0900947106
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The oncoproteins MDM2 and MDMX negatively regulate the activity and stability of the tumor suppressor protein p53--a cellular process initiated by MDM2 and/or MDMX binding to the N-terminal transactivation domain of p53. MDM2 and MDMX in many tumors confer p53 inactivation and tumor survival, and are important molecular targets for anticancer therapy. We screened a duodecimal peptide phage library against site-specifically biotinylated p53-binding domains of human MDM2 and MDMX chemically synthesized via native chemical ligation, and identified several peptide inhibitors of the p53-MDM2/MDMX interactions. The most potent inhibitor (TSFAEYWNLLSP), termed PMI, bound to MDM2 and MDMX at low nanomolar affinities--approximately 2 orders of magnitude stronger than the wild-type p53 peptide of the same length (ETFSDLWKLLPE). We solved the crystal structures of synthetic MDM2 and MDMX, both in complex with PMI, at 1.6 A resolution. Comparative structural analysis identified an extensive, tightened intramolecular H-bonding network in bound PMI that contributed to its conformational stability, thus enhanced binding to the 2 oncogenic proteins. Importantly, the C-terminal residue Pro of PMI induced formation of a hydrophobic cleft in MDMX previously unseen in the structures of p53-bound MDM2 or MDMX. Our findings deciphered the structural basis for high-affinity peptide inhibition of p53 interactions with MDM2 and MDMX, shedding new light on structure-based rational design of different classes of p53 activators for potential therapeutic use.

0 0
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Linear Motifs (LMs) are protein-protein interaction sites, typically consisting of ~4-20 amino acid residues that are often found in disordered proteins or regions, and function largely independent from other parts of the proteins they are found in. These short sequence patterns are involved in a wide spectrum of biological functions including cell cycle control, transcriptional regulation, enzymatic catalysis, cell signaling, protein trafficking, etc. Even though LMs may adopt defined structures in complexes with targets, which can be determined by conventional methods, their uncomplexed states can be highly dynamic and difficult to characterize. This hinders our understanding of the structure-function relationship of LMs. Here, the uncomplexed states of 6 different LMs are investigated using atomistic molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. The total simulation time was about 63 µs. The results show that LMs can have distinct conformational propensities, which often resemble their complexed state. As a result, the free state structure and dynamics of LMs may hold important clues regarding binding mechanisms, affinities and specificities. The findings should be helpful in advancing our understanding of the mechanisms whereby disordered amino acid sequences bind targets, modeling disordered proteins/regions, and computational prediction of binding affinities.
    The Journal of Physical Chemistry B 12/2013; 117:15943-15957. · 3.61 Impact Factor
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A novel strategy to stabilize the α-helical secondary structures of peptides upon binding to gold nanoparticles is described. Using a model protein-protein interaction system, we showed that AuNPs decorated with stabilized p53 α-helix peptides can mediate specific molecular recognition with their target protein.
    Chemical Communications 07/2013; · 6.38 Impact Factor
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Stapled α-helical peptides have emerged as a promising new modality for a wide range of therapeutic targets. Here, we report a potent and selective dual inhibitor of MDM2 and MDMX, ATSP-7041, which effectively activates the p53 pathway in tumors in vitro and in vivo. Specifically, ATSP-7041 binds both MDM2 and MDMX with nanomolar affinities, shows submicromolar cellular activities in cancer cell lines in the presence of serum, and demonstrates highly specific, on-target mechanism of action. A high resolution (1.7-Å) X-ray crystal structure reveals its molecular interactions with the target protein MDMX, including multiple contacts with key amino acids as well as a role for the hydrocarbon staple itself in target engagement. Most importantly, ATSP-7041 demonstrates robust p53-dependent tumor growth suppression in MDM2/MDMX-overexpressing xenograft cancer models, with a high correlation to on-target pharmacodynamic activity, and possesses favorable pharmacokinetic and tissue distribution properties. Overall, ATSP-7041 demonstrates in vitro and in vivo proof-of-concept that stapled peptides can be developed as therapeutically relevant inhibitors of protein-protein interaction and may offer a viable modality for cancer therapy.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 08/2013; · 9.74 Impact Factor


Available from
Jun 6, 2013