Multifunctional Compounds for Activation of the p53-Y220C Mutant in Cancer

Abstract : The p53 protein plays a major role in cancer prevention, and over 50 % of cancer diagnoses can be attributed to p53 malfunction. The common p53 mutation Y220C causes local protein unfolding, aggregation, and can result in a loss of Zn in the DNA-binding domain. Structural analysis has shown that this mutant creates a surface site that can be stabilized using small molecules, and herein a multifunctional approach to restore function to p53-Y220C is reported. A series of compounds has been designed that contain iodinated phenols aimed for interaction and stabilization of the p53-Y220C surface cavity, and Zn-binding fragments for metallochaperone activity. Their Zn-binding affinity was characterized using spectroscopic methods and demonstrate the ability of compounds L4 and L5 to increase intracellular levels of Zn2+ in a p53-Y220C-mutant cell line. The in vitro cytotoxicity of our compounds was initially screened by the National Cancer Institute (NCI-60), followed by testing in three stomach cancer cell lines with varying p53 status', including AGS (WTp53), MKN1 (V143A), and NUGC3 (Y220C). Our most promising ligand, L5, is nearly 3-fold more cytotoxic than cisplatin in a large number of cell lines. The impressive cytotoxicity of L5 is further maintained in a NUGC3 3D spheroid model. L5 also induces Y220C-specific apoptosis in a cleaved caspase-3 assay, reduces levels of unfolded mutant p53, and recovers p53 transcriptional function in the NUGC3 cell line. These results show that these multifunctional scaffolds have the potential to restore wild-type function in mutant p53-Y220C.
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Jessica Miller, Christophe Orvain, Shireen Jozi, Ryan Clarke, Jason Smith, et al.. Multifunctional Compounds for Activation of the p53-Y220C Mutant in Cancer. Chemistry - A European Journal, Wiley-VCH Verlag, 2018, 24 (67), pp.17734-17742. ⟨10.1002/chem.201802677⟩. ⟨inserm-02364129⟩

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