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      Broad-Spectrum Allosteric Inhibition of Herpesvirus Proteases

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          Herpesviruses rely on a homodimeric protease for viral capsid maturation. A small molecule, DD2, previously shown to disrupt dimerization of Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus protease (KSHV Pr) by trapping an inactive monomeric conformation and two analogues generated through carboxylate bioisosteric replacement (compounds 2 and 3) were shown to inhibit the associated proteases of all three human herpesvirus (HHV) subfamilies (α, β, and γ). Inhibition data reveal that compound 2 has potency comparable to or better than that of DD2 against the tested proteases. Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and a new application of the kinetic analysis developed by Zhang and Poorman [Zhang, Z. Y., Poorman, R. A., et al. (1991) J. Biol. Chem. 266, 15591–15594] show DD2, compound 2, and compound 3 inhibit HHV proteases by dimer disruption. All three compounds bind the dimer interface of other HHV proteases in a manner analogous to binding of DD2 to KSHV protease. The determination and analysis of cocrystal structures of both analogues with the KSHV Pr monomer verify and elaborate on the mode of binding for this chemical scaffold, explaining a newly observed critical structure–activity relationship. These results reveal a prototypical chemical scaffold for broad-spectrum allosteric inhibition of human herpesvirus proteases and an approach for the identification of small molecules that allosterically regulate protein activity by targeting protein–protein interactions.

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          Most cited references 42

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          Reaching for high-hanging fruit in drug discovery at protein-protein interfaces.

          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.
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            Coupling of folding and binding for unstructured proteins.

            There are now numerous examples of proteins that are unstructured or only partially structured under physiological conditions and yet are nevertheless functional. Such proteins are especially prevalent in eukaryotes. In many cases, intrinsically disordered proteins adopt folded structures upon binding to their biological targets. Many new examples of coupled folding and binding events have been reported recently, providing new insights into mechanisms of molecular recognition.
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              On the role of the crystal environment in determining protein side-chain conformations.

              The role of crystal packing in determining the observed conformations of amino acid side-chains in protein crystals is investigated by (1) analysis of a database of proteins that have been crystallized in different unit cells (space group or unit cell dimensions) and (2) theoretical predictions of side-chain conformations with the crystal environment explicitly represented. Both of these approaches indicate that the crystal environment plays an important role in determining the conformations of polar side-chains on the surfaces of proteins. Inclusion of the crystal environment permits a more sensitive measurement of the achievable accuracy of side-chain prediction programs, when validating against structures obtained by X-ray crystallography. Our side-chain prediction program uses an all-atom force field and a Generalized Born model of solvation and is thus capable of modeling simple packing effects (i.e. van der Waals interactions), electrostatic effects, and desolvation, which are all important mechanisms by which the crystal environment impacts observed side-chain conformations. Our results are also relevant to the understanding of changes in side-chain conformation that may result from ligand docking and protein-protein association, insofar as the results reveal how side-chain conformations change in response to their local environment. (c) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd.

                Author and article information

                American Chemical Society
                30 June 2015
                30 June 2014
                22 July 2014
                : 53
                : 28
                : 4648-4660
                []Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of California , San Francisco, California 94158-2280, United States
                []Small Molecule Discovery Center, University of California , San Francisco, California 94158-2250, United States
                [§ ]Graduate Group in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of California , San Francisco, California 94158-2280, United States
                []Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California , San Francisco, California 94158-2280, United States
                Author notes
                [* ]E-mail: charles.craik@ . Phone: (415) 476-8146.
                Copyright © 2014 American Chemical Society

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