Exploiting the P-1 pocket of BRCT domains toward a structure guided inhibitor design

ACS Med Chem Lett. 2011 Oct 13;2(10):764-767. doi: 10.1021/ml200147a.


Breast cancer gene 1 carboxy terminus (BRCT) domains are found in a number of proteins that are important for DNA damage response (DDR). The BRCT domains bind phosphorylated proteins and these protein-protein interactions are essential for DDR and DNA repair. High affinity domain specific inhibitors are needed to facilitate the dissection of the protein-protein interactions in the DDR signaling. The BRCT domains of BRCA1 bind phosphorylated protein through a pSXXF consensus recognition motif. We identified a hydrophobic pocket at the P-1 position of the pSXXF binding site. Here we conducted a structure-guided synthesis of peptide analogs with hydrophobic functional groups at the P-1 position. Evaluation of these led to the identification of a peptide mimic 15 with a inhibitory constant (K(i)) of 40 nM for BRCT(BRCA1). Analysis of the TopBP1 and MDC1 BRCT domains suggests a similar approach is viable to design high affinity inhibitors.