[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Targeting the interfaces between proteins has huge therapeutic potential, but discovering small-molecule drugs that disrupt protein-protein interactions is an enormous challenge. Several recent success stories, however, indicate that protein-protein interfaces might be more tractable than has been thought. These studies discovered small molecules that bind with drug-like potencies to 'hotspots' on the contact surfaces involved in protein-protein interactions. Remarkably, these small molecules bind deeper within the contact surface of the target protein, and bind with much higher efficiencies, than do the contact atoms of the natural protein partner. Some of these small molecules are now making their way through clinical trials, so this high-hanging fruit might not be far out of reach.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: G protein betagamma subunits have potential as a target for therapeutic treatment of a number of diseases. We performed virtual docking of a small-molecule library to a site on Gbetagamma subunits that mediates protein interactions. We hypothesized that differential targeting of this surface could allow for selective modulation of Gbetagamma subunit functions. Several compounds bound to Gbetagamma subunits with affinities from 0.1 to 60 muM and selectively modulated functional Gbetagamma-protein-protein interactions in vitro, chemotactic peptide signaling pathways in HL-60 leukocytes, and opioid receptor-dependent analgesia in vivo. These data demonstrate an approach for modulation of G protein-coupled receptor signaling that may represent an important therapeutic strategy.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genetic evidence suggests that inhibition of amyloid fibril formation by small molecules should be effective against amyloid diseases. Known amyloid inhibitors appear to function by shifting the aggregation equilibrium away from the amyloid state. Here, we describe a series of transthyretin amyloidosis inhibitors that functioned by increasing the kinetic barrier associated with misfolding, preventing amyloidogenesis by stabilizing the native state. The trans-suppressor mutation, threonine 119 --> methionine 119, which is known to ameliorate familial amyloid disease, also functioned through kinetic stabilization, implying that this small-molecule strategy should be effective in treating amyloid diseases.
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