Similar to DNA replication, translation of the genetic code by the ribosome is hypothesized to be exceptionally sensitive to small chemical changes to its template mRNA. Here we show that addition of common alkylating agents to growing cultures of E. coli leads to accumulation of several adducts within RNA, including N(1)-methyladenosine (m1A). As expected, the introduction of m1A to model mRNAs was found to reduce the rate of peptide-bond formation by three orders of magnitude in a well-defined in vitro system. These observations suggest that alkylative stress is likely to stall translation in vivo and necessitates activation of ribosome-rescue pathways. Indeed, the addition of alkylation agents was found to robustly activate the transfer-messenger RNA system, even when transcription was inhibited. Our findings suggest that bacteria carefully monitor the chemical integrity of their mRNA and they evolved rescue pathways to cope with its effect on translation.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files.
- Hani S Zaher
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Thomas E Dever, National Institutes of Health, United States
© 2020, Thomas et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
The transcription factor TEAD, together with its coactivator YAP/TAZ, is a key transcriptional modulator of the Hippo pathway. Activation of TEAD transcription by YAP has been implicated in a number of malignancies, and this complex represents a promising target for drug discovery. However, both YAP and its extensive binding interfaces to TEAD have been difficult to address using small molecules, mainly due to a lack of druggable pockets. TEAD is post-translationally modified by palmitoylation that targets a conserved cysteine at a central pocket, which provides an opportunity to develop cysteine-directed covalent small molecules for TEAD inhibition. Here, we employed covalent fragment screening approach followed by structure-based design to develop an irreversible TEAD inhibitor MYF-03–69. Using a range of in vitro and cell-based assays we demonstrated that through a covalent binding with TEAD palmitate pocket, MYF-03–69 disrupts YAP-TEAD association, suppresses TEAD transcriptional activity and inhibits cell growth of Hippo signaling defective malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). Further, a cell viability screening with a panel of 903 cancer cell lines indicated a high correlation between TEAD-YAP dependency and the sensitivity to MYF-03–69. Transcription profiling identified the upregulation of proapoptotic BMF gene in cancer cells that are sensitive to TEAD inhibition. Further optimization of MYF-03–69 led to an in vivo compatible compound MYF-03–176, which shows strong antitumor efficacy in MPM mouse xenograft model via oral administration. Taken together, we disclosed a story of the development of covalent TEAD inhibitors and its high therapeutic potential for clinic treatment for the cancers that are driven by TEAD-YAP alteration.
The TEA domain (TEAD) transcription factor forms a transcription co-activation complex with the key downstream effector of the Hippo pathway, YAP/TAZ. TEAD-YAP controls the expression of Hippo-responsive genes involved in cell proliferation, development, and tumorigenesis. Hyperactivation of TEAD-YAP activities is observed in many human cancers and is associated with cancer cell proliferation, survival, and immune evasion. Therefore, targeting the TEAD-YAP complex has emerged as an attractive therapeutic approach. We previously reported that the mammalian TEAD transcription factors (TEAD1–4) possess auto-palmitoylation activities and contain an evolutionarily conserved palmitate-binding pocket (PBP), which allows small-molecule modulation. Since then, several reversible and irreversible inhibitors have been reported by binding to PBP. Here, we report a new class of TEAD inhibitors with a novel binding mode. Representative analog TM2 shows potent inhibition of TEAD auto-palmitoylation both in vitro and in cells. Surprisingly, the co-crystal structure of the human TEAD2 YAP-binding domain (YBD) in complex with TM2 reveals that TM2 adopts an unexpected binding mode by occupying not only the hydrophobic PBP, but also a new side binding pocket formed by hydrophilic residues. RNA-seq analysis shows that TM2 potently and specifically suppresses TEAD-YAP transcriptional activities. Consistently, TM2 exhibits strong antiproliferation effects as a single agent or in combination with a MEK inhibitor in YAP-dependent cancer cells. These findings establish TM2 as a promising small-molecule inhibitor against TEAD-YAP activities and provide new insights for designing novel TEAD inhibitors with enhanced selectivity and potency.