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Journal articleWilliams D, Mahmoud M, Liu R, et al., 2022,
Atherosclerosis preferentially occurs in arterial regions exposed to disturbed blood flow (d-flow), while regions exposed to stable flow (s-flow) are protected. The proatherogenic and atheroprotective effects of d-flow and s-flow are mediated in part by the global changes in endothelial cell gene expression, which regulates endothelial dysfunction, inflammation, and atherosclerosis. Previously, we identified Kallikrein-Related Peptidase 10 (Klk10, a secreted serine protease) as a flow-sensitive gene in mouse arterial endothelial cells, but its role in endothelial biology and atherosclerosis was unknown. Here, we show that KLK10 is upregulated under s-flow conditions and downregulated under d-flow conditions using in vivo& mouse models and in vitro studies with cultured endothelial cells (ECs). Single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNAseq) and scATAC sequencing (scATACseq) study using the partial carotid ligation mouse model showed flow-regulated Klk10 expression at the epigenomic and transcription levels. Functionally, KLK10 protected against d-flow-induced permeability dysfunction and inflammation in human artery ECs (HAECs), as determined by NFkB activation, expression of vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM1) and intracellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM1), and monocyte adhesion. Further, treatment of mice in vivo with rKLK10 decreased arterial endothelial inflammation in d-flow regions. Additionally, rKLK10 injection or ultrasound-mediated transfection of Klk10-expressing plasmids inhibited atherosclerosis in Apoe-/- mice. Moreover, KLK10 expression was significantly reduced in human coronary arteries with advanced atherosclerotic plaques compared to those with less severe plaques. KLK10 is a flow-sensitive endothelial protein that serves as an anti-inflammatory, barrier-protective, and anti-atherogenic factor.
Journal articleMondal M, Conole D, Nautiyal J, et al., 2022,
Breast cancer has the highest incidence and death rate among cancers in women worldwide. In particular, metastatic Estrogen Receptor negative (ER–) breast cancer and Triple-Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) subtypes have very limited treatment options, with low survival rates. Ubiquitin carboxyl terminal hydrolase L1 (UCHL1), a ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase belonging to the deubiquitinase (DUB) family of enzymes, is highly expressed in these cancer types, and several key reports have revealed emerging and important roles for UCHL1 in breast cancer. However, selective and potent small molecule UCHL1 inhibitors have been disclosed only very recently, alongside chemical biology approaches to detect regulated UHCL1 activity in cancer cells. These tools will enable novel insights into oncogenic mechanisms driven by UCHL1, and identification of substrate proteins deubiquitinated by UCHL1, with the ultimate goal of realizing the potential of UCHL1 as a drug target in breast cancer.
Journal articleJamshidiha M, Lanyon-Hogg T, Sutherell C, et al., 2021,
Rab27A is a small GTPase, which mediates transport and docking of secretory vesicles at the plasma membrane via protein–protein interactions (PPIs) with effector proteins. Rab27A promotes the growth and invasion of multiple cancer types such as breast, lung and pancreatic, by enhancing secretion of chemokines, metalloproteases and exosomes. The significant role of Rab27A in multiple cancer types and the minor role in adults suggest that Rab27A may be a suitable target to disrupt cancer metastasis. Similar to many GTPases, the flat topology of the Rab27A-effector PPI interface and the high affinity for GTP make it a challenging target for inhibition by small molecules. Reported co-crystal structures show that several effectors of Rab27A interact with the Rab27A SF4 pocket (‘WF-binding pocket’) via a conserved tryptophan–phenylalanine (WF) dipeptide motif. To obtain structural insight into the ligandability of this pocket, a novel construct was designed fusing Rab27A to part of an effector protein (fRab27A), allowing crystallisation of Rab27A in high throughput. The paradigm of KRas covalent inhibitor development highlights the challenge presented by GTPase proteins as targets. However, taking advantage of two cysteine residues, C123 and C188, that flank the WF pocket and are unique to Rab27A and Rab27B among the >60 Rab family proteins, we used the quantitative Irreversible Tethering (qIT) assay to identify the first covalent ligands for native Rab27A. The binding modes of two hits were elucidated by co-crystallisation with fRab27A, exemplifying a platform for identifying suitable lead fragments for future development of competitive inhibitors of the Rab27A-effector interaction interface, corroborating the use of covalent libraries to tackle challenging targets.
Journal articleCoupland CE, Andrei SA, Ansell TB, et al., 2021,
The Sonic Hedgehog (SHH) morphogen pathway is fundamental for embryonic development and stem cell maintenance and is implicated in various cancers. A key step in signaling is transfer of a palmitate group to the SHH N terminus, catalyzed by the multi-pass transmembrane enzyme Hedgehog acyltransferase (HHAT). We present the high-resolution cryo-EM structure of HHAT bound to substrate analog palmityl-coenzyme A and a SHH-mimetic megabody, revealing a heme group bound to HHAT that is essential for HHAT function. A structure of HHAT bound to potent small-molecule inhibitor IMP-1575 revealed conformational changes in the active site that occlude substrate binding. Our multidisciplinary analysis provides a detailed view of the mechanism by which HHAT adapts the membrane environment to transfer an acyl chain across the endoplasmic reticulum membrane. This structure of a membrane-bound O-acyltransferase (MBOAT) superfamily member provides a blueprint for other protein-substrate MBOATs and a template for future drug discovery.
Journal articleKallemeijn W, Lanyon-Hogg T, Panyain N, et al., 2021,
Proteome-wide analysis of protein lipidation using chemical probes: in-gel fluorescence visualisation, identification and quantification of N-myristoylation, N- and S-acylation, Ocholesterylation, S-farnesylation and S-geranylgeranylation, Nature Protocols, ISSN: 1750-2799
Journal articleSchlott AC, Knuepfer E, Green JL, et al., 2021,
Inhibition of protein N-myristoylation blocks Plasmodium falciparum intraerythrocytic development, egress and invasion, PLoS Biology, Vol: 19, ISSN: 1544-9173
We have combined chemical biology and genetic modification approaches to investigate the importance of protein myristoylation in the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. Parasite treatment during schizogony in the last 10 to 15 hours of the erythrocytic cycle with IMP-1002, an inhibitor of N-myristoyl transferase (NMT), led to a significant blockade in parasite egress from the infected erythrocyte. Two rhoptry proteins were mislocalized in the cell, suggesting that rhoptry function is disrupted. We identified 16 NMT substrates for which myristoylation was significantly reduced by NMT inhibitor (NMTi) treatment, and, of these, 6 proteins were substantially reduced in abundance. In a viability screen, we showed that for 4 of these proteins replacement of the N-terminal glycine with alanine to prevent myristoylation had a substantial effect on parasite fitness. In detailed studies of one NMT substrate, glideosome-associated protein 45 (GAP45), loss of myristoylation had no impact on protein location or glideosome assembly, in contrast to the disruption caused by GAP45 gene deletion, but GAP45 myristoylation was essential for erythrocyte invasion. Therefore, there are at least 3 mechanisms by which inhibition of NMT can disrupt parasite development and growth: early in parasite development, leading to the inhibition of schizogony and formation of "pseudoschizonts," which has been described previously; at the end of schizogony, with disruption of rhoptry formation, merozoite development and egress from the infected erythrocyte; and at invasion, when impairment of motor complex function prevents invasion of new erythrocytes. These results underline the importance of P. falciparum NMT as a drug target because of the pleiotropic effect of its inhibition.
Journal articlePanyain N, Godinat A, Thawani AR, et al., 2021,
Activity-based protein profiling reveals deubiquitinase and aldehyde dehydrogenase targets of a cyanopyrrolidine probe, RSC Medicinal Chemistry, Vol: 12, Pages: 1935-1943, ISSN: 2632-8682
Ubiquitin carboxy-terminal hydrolase L1 (UCHL1), a deubiquitinating enzyme (DUB), is a potential drug target in various cancers, and liver and lung fibrosis. However, bona fide functions and substrates of UCHL1 remain poorly understood. Herein, we report the characterization of UCHL1 covalent inhibitor MT16-001 based on a thiazole cyanopyrrolidine scaffold. In combination with chemical proteomics, a closely related activity-based probe (MT16-205) was used to generate a comprehensive quantitative profile for on- and off-targets at endogenous cellular abundance. Both compounds are selective for UCHL1 over other DUBs in intact cells but also engage a range of other targets with good selectivity over the wider proteome, including aldehyde dehydrogenases, redox-sensitive Parkinson’s disease related protein PARK7, and glutamine amidotransferase. Taken together, these results underline the importance of robust profiling of activity-based probes as chemical tools and highlight the cyanopyrrolidine warhead as a versatile platform for liganding diverse classes of protein with reactive cysteine residues which can be used for further inhibitor screening, and as a starting point for inhibitor development.
Journal articleGoya Grocin A, Kallemeijn W, Tate E, 2021,
Targeting methionine aminopeptidase 2 in cancer, obesity and autoimmunity, Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, ISSN: 0165-6147
Journal articleKennedy C, Goya Grocin A, Kovacic T, et al., 2021,
Inhibition of inflammasome and pyroptotic pathways are promising strategies for clinical treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory disorders. MCC950, a potent inhibitor of the NLR-family inflammasome pyrin domain-containing 3 (NLRP3) protein, has shown encouraging results in animal models for a range of conditions; however, until now, no off-targets have been identified. Herein, we report the design, synthesis, and application of a novel photoaffinity alkyne-tagged probe for MCC950 (IMP2070) which shows direct engagement with NLRP3 and inhibition of inflammasome activation in macrophages. Affinity-based chemical proteomics in live macrophages identified several potential off-targets, including carbonic anhydrase 2 (CA2) as a specific target of IMP2070, and independent cellular thermal proteomic profiling revealed stabilization of CA2 by MCC950. MCC950 displayed noncompetitive inhibition of CA2 activity, confirming carbonic anhydrase as an off-target class for this compound. These data highlight potential biological mechanisms through which MCC950 and derivatives may exhibit off-target effects in preclinical or clinical studies.
Journal articleLovell S, Zhang L, Kryza T, et al., 2021,
Kallikrein-related peptidases (KLKs) are a family of secreted serine proteases, which form a network (the KLK activome) with an important role in proteolysis and signaling. In prostate cancer (PCa), increased KLK activity promotes tumor growth and metastasis through multiple biochemical pathways, and specific quantification and tracking of changes in the KLK activome could contribute to validation of KLKs as potential drug targets. Herein we report a technology platform based on novel activity-based probes (ABPs) and inhibitors enabling simultaneous orthogonal analysis of KLK2, KLK3, and KLK14 activity in hormone-responsive PCa cell lines and tumor homogenates. Importantly, we identifed a significant decoupling of KLK activity and abundance and suggest that KLK proteolysis should be considered as an additional parameter, along with the PSA blood test, for accurate PCa diagnosis and monitoring. Using selective inhibitors and multiplexed fluorescent activity-based protein profiling (ABPP), we dissect the KLK activome in PCa cells and show that increased KLK14 activity leads to a migratory phenotype. Furthermore, using biotinylated ABPs, we show that active KLK molecules are secreted into the bone microenvironment by PCa cells following stimulation by osteoblasts suggesting KLK-mediated signaling mechanisms could contribute to PCa metastasis to bone. Together our findings show that ABPP is a powerful approach to dissect dysregulation of the KLK activome as a promising and previously underappreciated therapeutic target in advanced PCa.
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