Evelyn Süß

Hospital Frankfurt Hoechst, Frankfurt, Hesse, Germany

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Publications (4)28.4 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Pkh is the yeast ortholog of the mammalian 3-phosphoinositide-dependent protein kinase 1 (PDK1). Pkh phosphorylates the activation loop of Ypks, Tpks, Sch9 and also phosphorylates the eisosome components Lsp1 and Pil1, which play fundamental roles upstream of diverse signaling pathways, including the cell wall integrity and sphingosine/long-chain base (LCB) signaling pathways. In S. cerevisiae, two isoforms, ScPkh1 and ScPkh2, are required for cell viability, while only one ortholog exists in C. albicans, CaPkh2. In spite of the extensive information gathered on the role of Pkh in the LCB signaling, the yeast Pkh kinases are not known to bind lipids and previous studies did not identify PH domains in Pkh sequences. We now describe that the C-terminal region of CaPkh2 is required for its intrinsic kinase activity. In addition, we found that the C-terminal region of CaPkh2 enables its interaction with structural and signaling lipids. Our results further show that phosphatidylserine, phosphatidic acid, phosphatidylinositol (3,4 and 4,5)-biphosphates, and phosphatidylinositol (3,4,5)-trisphosphate inhibit Pkh activity, wheras sulfatide binds with high affinity but does not affect the intrinsic activity of CaPkh2. Interestingly, we identified that its human ortholog PDK1 also binds to sulfatide. We propose a mechanism by which lipids and dihydrosphingosine regulate CaPkh2 kinase activity by modulating the interaction of the C-terminal region with the kinase domain, while sulfatide-like lipids support localization CaPkh2 mediated by a C-terminal PH domain, without affecting kinase intrinsic activity.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids
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    ABSTRACT: The rational design of allosteric kinase modulators is challenging but rewarding. The protein kinase PDK1, which lies at the center of the growth-factor signaling pathway, possesses an allosteric regulatory site previously validated both in vitro and in cells. ANCHOR.QUERY software was used to discover a potent allosteric PDK1 kinase modulator. Using a recently published PDK1 compound as a template, several new scaffolds that bind to the allosteric target site were generated and one example was validated. The inhibitor can be synthesized in one step by multicomponent reaction (MCR) chemistry when using the ANCHOR.QUERY approach. Our results are significant because the outlined approach allows rapid and efficient scaffold hopping from known molecules into new easily accessible and biologically active ones. Based on increasing interest in allosteric-site drug discovery, we foresee many potential applications for this approach.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Angewandte Chemie International Edition
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    ABSTRACT: The phosphoinositide-dependent protein kinase 1, PDK1, is a master kinase that phosphorylates the activation loop of up to 23 AGC kinases. S. cerevisiae has three PDK1 orthologues, Pkh1-3, which also phosphorylate AGC kinases, e.g. Ypk, Tpk, Pkc1 and Sch9. Pkh1 and 2 are redundant proteins involved in multiple essential cellular functions, including endocytosis and cell wall integrity. Based on similarities with the budding yeast, the Pkh of fungal infectious species was postulated as a novel target for antifungals. Here, we found that depletion of Pkh eventually induces oxidative stress and DNA double-strand breaks, leading to programmed cell death. This finding supports Pkh as an antifungal target since pharmacological inhibition of Pkh would lead to the death of yeast cells, the ultimate goal of antifungals. It was therefore of interest to further investigate the possibility to develop Pkh inhibitors with selectivity for Candida Pkh that would not inhibit the human ortholog. Here, we describe C. albicans Pkh2 biochemically, structurally and by using chemical probes in comparison to human PDK1. We found that a regulatory site on the C.albicans Pkh2 catalytic domain, the PIF-pocket, diverges from human PDK1. Indeed, we identified and characterized PS77, a new small allosteric inhibitor directed to the PIF-pocket, which has increased selectivity for C. albicans Pkh2. Together, our results describe novel features of the biology of Pkh and chemical biology approaches that support the validation of Pkh as a drug target for selective antifungals.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · ACS Chemical Biology
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    ABSTRACT: Protein kinases are key mediators of cellular signaling, and therefore, their activities are tightly controlled. AGC kinases are regulated by phosphorylation and by N- and C-terminal regions. Here, we studied the molecular mechanism of inhibition of atypical PKCζ and found that the inhibition by the N-terminal region cannot be explained by a simple pseudosubstrate inhibitory mechanism. Notably, we found that the C1 domain allosterically inhibits PKCζ activity and verified an allosteric communication between the PIF-pocket of atypical PKCs and the binding site of the C1 domain. Finally, we developed low-molecular-weight compounds that bind to the PIF-pocket and allosterically inhibit PKCζ activity. This work establishes a central role for the PIF-pocket on the regulation of PKCζ and allows us to envisage development of drugs targeting the PIF-pocket that can either activate or inhibit AGC kinases.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2011 · Chemistry & biology