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      Small molecule inhibition of the KRAS–PDEδ interaction impairs oncogenic KRAS signalling

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          Abstract

          The KRAS oncogene product is considered a major target in anticancer drug discovery. However, direct interference with KRAS signalling has not yet led to clinically useful drugs. Correct localization and signalling by farnesylated KRAS is regulated by the prenyl-binding protein PDEδ, which sustains the spatial organization of KRAS by facilitating its diffusion in the cytoplasm. Here we report that interfering with binding of mammalian PDEδ to KRAS by means of small molecules provides a novel opportunity to suppress oncogenic RAS signalling by altering its localization to endomembranes. Biochemical screening and subsequent structure-based hit optimization yielded inhibitors of the KRAS-PDEδ interaction that selectively bind to the prenyl-binding pocket of PDEδ with nanomolar affinity, inhibit oncogenic RAS signalling and suppress in vitro and in vivo proliferation of human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cells that are dependent on oncogenic KRAS. Our findings may inspire novel drug discovery efforts aimed at the development of drugs targeting oncogenic RAS.

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          Most cited references 26

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          RAS oncogenes: the first 30 years.

          From the pioneering work with acute transforming retroviruses to the current post-genomic era, RAS genes have always been at the leading edge of signal transduction and molecular oncology. Yet, a complete understanding of RAS function and dysfunction - mainly in human cancer - is still to come. The knowledge that has accumulated since their discovery 30 years ago has, however, been remarkable, and should pave the way for not only solving the outstanding issues regarding RAS biology, but also for developing efficacious drugs that could have a significant impact on cancer treatment.
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            Chemical screening methods to identify ligands that promote protein stability, protein crystallization, and structure determination.

            The 3D structures of human therapeutic targets are enabling for drug discovery. However, their purification and crystallization remain rate determining. In individual cases, ligands have been used to increase the success rate of protein purification and crystallization, but the broad applicability of this approach is unknown. We implemented two screening platforms, based on either fluorimetry or static light scattering, to measure the increase in protein thermal stability upon binding of a ligand without the need to monitor enzyme activity. In total, 221 different proteins from humans and human parasites were screened against one or both of two sorts of small-molecule libraries. The first library comprised different salts, pH conditions, and commonly found small molecules and was applicable to all proteins. The second comprised compounds specific for protein families of particular interest (e.g., protein kinases). In 20 cases, including nine unique human protein kinases, a small molecule was identified that stabilized the proteins and promoted structure determination. The methods are cost-effective, can be implemented in any laboratory, promise to increase the success rates of purifying and crystallizing human proteins significantly, and identify new ligands for these proteins.
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              Targeting protein prenylation for cancer therapy.

              Protein farnesylation and geranylgeranylation, together referred to as prenylation, are lipid post-translational modifications that are required for the transforming activity of many oncogenic proteins, including some RAS family members. This observation prompted the development of inhibitors of farnesyltransferase (FT) and geranylgeranyl-transferase 1 (GGT1) as potential anticancer drugs. In this Review, we discuss the mechanisms by which FT and GGT1 inhibitors (FTIs and GGTIs, respectively) affect signal transduction pathways, cell cycle progression, proliferation and cell survival. In contrast to their preclinical efficacy, only a small subset of patients responds to FTIs. Identifying tumours that depend on farnesylation for survival remains a challenge, and strategies to overcome this are discussed. One GGTI has recently entered the clinic, and the safety and efficacy of GGTIs await results from clinical trials.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature
                Nature
                Springer Science and Business Media LLC
                0028-0836
                1476-4687
                May 2013
                May 22 2013
                May 2013
                : 497
                : 7451
                : 638-642
                Article
                10.1038/nature12205
                23698361
                © 2013

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