Surface Reengineering of RPA70N Enables Cocrystallization with an Inhibitor of the Replication Protein A Interaction Motif of ATR Interacting Protein
Replication Protein A (RPA) is the primary single stranded DNA (ssDNA) binding protein in eukaryotes. The N-terminal domain of the RPA70 subunit (RPA70N) interacts via a basic cleft with a wide range of DNA processing proteins, including several that regulate DNA damage response and repair. Small molecule inhibitors that disrupt these protein-protein interactions are therefore of interest as chemical probes of these critical DNA processing pathways and as inhibitors to counter the up-regulation of DNA damage response and repair associated with treatment of cancer patients with radiation or DNA damaging agents. Determination of three-dimensional structures of protein-ligand complexes is an important step for elaboration of small molecule inhibitors. However, although crystal structures of free RPA70N and an RPA70N-peptide fusion construct have been reported, RPA70N-inhibitor complexes have been recalcitrant to crystallization. Analysis of the P61 lattice of RPA70N crystals led us to hypothesize that the ligand-binding surface was occluded. Surface reengineering to alter key crystal lattice contacts lead to the design of RPA70N E7R, E100R and E7R, E100R mutants. These mutants crystallized in a P212121 lattice that clearly had significant solvent channels open to the critical basic cleft. Analysis of X-ray crystal structures, target peptide binding affinities, and (15)N-(1)H HSQC NMR spectra showed that the mutations do not result in perturbations of the RPA70N ligand-binding surface. The success of the design was demonstrated by determining the structure of RPA70N E7R soaked with a ligand discovered in a previously reported molecular fragment screen. A fluorescence anisotropy competition binding assay revealed this compound can inhibit the interaction of RPA70N with the peptide binding motif from the DNA damage response protein ATRIP. The implications of the results are discussed in the context of ongoing efforts to design RPA70N inhibitors.
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ABSTRACT: Replication protein A (RPA), the major eukaryotic single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) binding protein, is involved in nearly all cellular DNA transactions. The RPA N-terminal domain (RPA70N) is a recruitment site for proteins involved in DNA damage response and repair. Selective inhibition of these protein-protein interactions has the potential to inhibit the DNA damage response and sensitize cancer cells to DNA-damaging agents without affecting other functions of RPA. To discover a potent, selective inhibitor of the RPA70N protein-protein interactions to test this hypothesis, we used NMR spectroscopy to identify fragment hits that bind to two adjacent sites in the basic cleft of RPA70N. High-resolution X-ray crystal structures of RPA70N-ligand complexes revealed how these fragments bind to RPA and guided the design of linked compounds that simultaneously occupy both sites. We have synthesized linked molecules that bind to RPA70N with submicromolar affinity and minimal disruption of RPA's interaction with ssDNA.Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 10/2013; 56(22). DOI:10.1021/jm401333u · 5.45 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Stapled helix peptides can serve as useful tools for inhibiting protein-protein interactions but can be difficult to optimize for affinity. Here we describe the discovery and optimization of a stapled helix peptide that binds to the N-terminal domain of the 70 kDa subunit of Replication Protein A (RPA70N). In addition to applying traditional optimization strategies, we employed a novel approach for efficiently designing peptides containing unnatural amino acids. We discovered hot spots in the target protein using a fragment-based screen, identified the amino acid that binds to the hot spot, and selected an unnatural amino acid to incorporate, based on the structure activity relationships of small molecules that bind to this site. The resulting stapled helix peptide potently and selectively binds to RPA70N, does not disrupt ssDNA binding, and penetrates cells. This peptide may serve as a probe to explore the therapeutic potential of RPA70N inhibition in cancer.Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 02/2014; 57(6). DOI:10.1021/jm401730y · 5.45 Impact Factor
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