LIN28 is an RNA-binding protein that regulates the maturation of the let-7 family of microRNAs by bipartite interactions with let-7 precursors through its two distinct cold shock and zinc-knuckle domains. Through inhibition of let-7 biogenesis, LIN28 functions as a pluripotency factor, as well as a driver of tumorigenesis. Here, we report a fluorescence polarization assay to identify small-molecule inhibitors for both domains of LIN28 involved in let-7 interactions. Of 101,017 compounds screened, six inhibit LIN28:let-7 binding and impair LIN28-mediated let-7 oligouridylation. Upon further characterization, we demonstrate that the LIN28 inhibitor TPEN destabilizes the zinc-knuckle domain of LIN28, while LI71 binds the cold shock domain to suppress LIN28's activity against let-7 in leukemia cells and embryonic stem cells. Our results demonstrate selective pharmacologic inhibition of individual domains of LIN28 and provide a foundation for therapeutic inhibition of the let-7 biogenesis pathway in LIN28-driven diseases.
Keywords: 5-(methylamino)nicotinic acid; LI71; LIN28; LIN28 inhibitor; TPEN; TUT4; TUTase; let-7; oligouridylation; pre-let-7.
Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.