A selective irreversible inhibitor targeting a PDZ protein interaction domain

J Am Chem Soc. 2003 Oct 8;125(40):12074-5. doi: 10.1021/ja035540l.


Irreversible inhibitors of proteases have proven themselves useful tools for determining which proteases are active under given conditions in tissues or cells and for studying the functional role that a protease plays in physiological processes. The application of such techniques to the study of the activity and function of protein-protein interactions has been hindered by the lack of guiding principles for the mechanistic design of irreversible inhibitors targeting the "active site" of a protein interaction. We report herein the first example of a mechanism-based irreversible inhibitor of a protein interaction that has been specifically targeted to one member of the PDZ family of protein interaction domains: the second PDZ domain of the membrane-associated guanylate kinase MAGI3. This inhibitor was designed using rationally directed computational evaluation to take advantage of a conserved histidine in the PDZ domain by introducing an ionizable group that will be held in close proximity to that nucleophile during binding. The novel compound exhibits all of the characteristics of an irreversible inhibitor of the interaction of the tumor suppressor PTEN with MAGI3 in in vitro models. In cells, the inhibitor can be shown to release PTEN from sequestration by MAGI3 and consequently upregulate the PKB signaling pathway.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Drug Design
  • Guanylate Kinases
  • HCT116 Cells
  • Humans
  • Indoles / chemical synthesis
  • Indoles / chemistry*
  • Indoles / pharmacology
  • Models, Molecular
  • Nucleoside-Phosphate Kinase / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Nucleoside-Phosphate Kinase / chemistry
  • Nucleoside-Phosphate Kinase / metabolism
  • PTEN Phosphohydrolase
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases / chemistry
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases / metabolism
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / chemistry
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / metabolism


  • Indoles
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • indole-3-carbinol
  • Nucleoside-Phosphate Kinase
  • Guanylate Kinases
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases
  • PTEN Phosphohydrolase
  • PTEN protein, human