We have characterized two homologous, single-point core mutants of a 57-residue, hyperthermophilic variant of the B1 domain of protein G (HTB1). These single-point mutations in HTB1 replace a Phe residue in the hydrophobic core with either a Glu or Asp residue. Both of these homologous core-variant mutants undergo significant structural rearrangement from the native, monomeric fold and exist as stable soluble oligomeric species of 5 and 30 nm in diameter. Gel-filtration, dynamic light scattering, circular dichroism spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy, along with Congo Red and Thioflavin T binding clearly demonstrated that these core-variants undergo significant structural rearrangement from the native, monomeric ubiquitin fold. The two oligomeric species did not equilibrate over extended periods of time and displayed distinct secondary structures. The larger of the two species was found to possess structural features that are reminiscent of an emerging class of protein assemblies prone to β-sheet-mediated aggregation. These results are significant as there are very few examples of extensive conformational or oligomerization switching brought about by single-point mutations in a stable protein-fold.
Over the past decade, therapeutics that target subsets of the 518 human protein kinases have played a vital role in the fight against cancer. Protein kinases are typically targeted at the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) binding cleft by type I and II inhibitors, however, the high sequence and structural homology shared by protein kinases, especially at the ATP binding site, inherently leads to polypharmacology. In order to discover or design truly selective protein kinase inhibitors as both pharmacological reagents and safer therapeutic leads, new efforts are needed to target kinases outside the ATP cleft. Recent advances include the serendipitous discovery of type III inhibitors that bind a site proximal to the ATP pocket as well as the truly allosteric type IV inhibitors that target protein kinases distal to the substrate binding pocket. These new classes of inhibitors are often selective but usually display moderate affinities. In this review we will discuss the different classes of inhibitors with an emphasis on bisubstrate and bivalent inhibitors (type V) that combine different inhibitor classes. These inhibitors have the potential to couple the high affinity and potency of traditional active site targeted small molecule inhibitors with the selectivity of inhibitors that target the protein kinase surface outside ATP cleft.
A β-sheet peptide inhibitor, 2H10, has been developed that inhibits the dimerization of the transcription factor E47. Inhibition of E47 dimerization has been demonstrated to also inhibit the DNA binding of this transcription factor. Truncated peptides based on 2H10 have demonstrated that the β-sheet content of these peptides directly correlates with their inhibitory properties. Individual residues within 2H10 were identified that were responsible for the β-sheet secondary structure by employing an alanine replacement strategy. The β-sheet character of the alanine mutants also correlated well with their inhibition of E47 DNA binding. These results provide further evidence that interactions between the interfacial peptide inhibitors of E47 and the transcription factor itself are mediated by a β-sheet structure. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Ltd.