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.
Diffraction data have been deposited in PDB under the accession code 7LI5.RNA sequencing data have been deposited in BioSample database under accession codes SAMN19288936, SAMN19288937, SAMN19288938, SAMN19288939, SAMN19288940, SAMN19288941, SAMN19288942, SAMN19288943, SAMN19288944, SAMN19288945 and SAMN19288946.All datasets generated or analyzed during this study have been deposited in Dryad.Uncropped gels or blots image of Figure 1e, 2e, 3a, 3b, 4d and their related figure supplement 3, 4, 7 were provided in the zipped folder "Source data files".
Supplementary dataset 1: Proteome-wide selectivity profile of MYF-03-69 on cysteines labeling using SLC-ABPP approachDryad Digital Repository, doi:10.5061/dryad.rxwdbrvbn.
Supplementary Dataset 2. List of differentially expressed genes under MYF-03-69 treatmentsDryad Digital Repository, doi:10.5061/dryad.sn02v6x6g.
Supplementary Dataset 3. Area under the curve (AUC) data of PRISM cell viability screen and corresponding CERES scores of YAP1 and TEADsDryad Digital Repository, doi:10.5061/dryad.3r2280gjk.
Supplementary Dataset 4. Correlation analysis of MYF-03-69 PRISM sensitivity profile and gene DepMap dependency scoresDryad Digital Repository, doi:10.5061/dryad.kh189327w.
The Gray lab has sponsored research agreement for TEAD inhibitor project with Epiphanes. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: Animals acclimated for at least 5 days before initiation of the study. All in vivo studies were conducted at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute with the approval of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee in an AAALAC accredited vivarium.
- Duojia Pan, UT Southwestern Medical Center and HHMI, United States
© 2022, Fan 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.
Evolution can tinker with multi-protein machines and replace them with simpler single-protein systems performing equivalent functions in an equally efficient manner. It is unclear how, on a molecular level, such simplification can arise. With ancestral reconstruction and biochemical analysis, we have traced the evolution of bacterial small heat shock proteins (sHsp), which help to refold proteins from aggregates using either two proteins with different functions (IbpA and IbpB) or a secondarily single sHsp that performs both functions in an equally efficient way. Secondarily single sHsp evolved from IbpA, an ancestor specialized in strong substrate binding. Evolution of an intermolecular binding site drove the alteration of substrate binding properties, as well as the formation of higher-order oligomers. Upon two mutations in the α-crystallin domain, secondarily single sHsp interacts with aggregated substrates less tightly. Paradoxically, less efficient binding positively influences the ability of sHsp to stimulate substrate refolding, since the dissociation of sHps from aggregates is required to initiate Hsp70-Hsp100-dependent substrate refolding. After the loss of a partner, IbpA took over its role in facilitating the sHsp dissociation from an aggregate by weakening the interaction with the substrate, which became beneficial for the refolding process. We show that the same two amino acids introduced in modern-day systems define whether the IbpA acts as a single sHsp or obligatorily cooperates with an IbpB partner. Our discoveries illuminate how one sequence has evolved to encode functions previously performed by two distinct proteins.
Kinase inhibitors are successful therapeutics in the treatment of cancers and autoimmune diseases and are useful tools in biomedical research. However, the high sequence and structural conservation of the catalytic kinase domain complicates the development of selective kinase inhibitors. Inhibition of off-target kinases makes it difficult to study the mechanism of inhibitors in biological systems. Current efforts focus on the development of inhibitors with improved selectivity. Here, we present an alternative solution to this problem by combining inhibitors with divergent off-target effects. We develop a multicompound-multitarget scoring (MMS) method that combines inhibitors to maximize target inhibition and to minimize off-target inhibition. Additionally, this framework enables optimization of inhibitor combinations for multiple on-targets. Using MMS with published kinase inhibitor datasets we determine potent inhibitor combinations for target kinases with better selectivity than the most selective single inhibitor and validate the predicted effect and selectivity of inhibitor combinations using in vitro and in cellulo techniques. MMS greatly enhances selectivity in rational multitargeting applications. The MMS framework is generalizable to other non-kinase biological targets where compound selectivity is a challenge and diverse compound libraries are available.