Friedreich ataxia (FRDA) is an autosomal recessive neuro- and cardiodegenerative disorder for which there are no proven effective treatments. FRDA is caused by decreased expression and/or function of the mitochondrial protein frataxin. Here, we report findings that frataxin is degraded via the ubiquitin-proteasomal pathway and that it is ubiquitinated at residue K147 in Calu-6 cells. A theoretical model of the frataxin-K147/Ub complex, constructed by combining bioinformatics interface predictions with information-driven docking, revealed a hitherto unnoticed, potential ubiquitin-binding domain in frataxin. Through structure-based virtual screening and cell-based assays, we discovered a novel small molecule (compound (+)-11) able to prevent frataxin ubiquitination and degradation. (+)-11 was synthesized and tested for specific binding to frataxin by an UF-LC/MS based ligand-binding assay. Follow-up scaffold-based searches resulted in the identification of a lead series with micromolar activity in disrupting the frataxin/Ub interaction. This study also suggests that frataxin could be a potential target for FRDA drug development.

Discovery of a Novel Small Molecule Inhibitor Targeting the Frataxin/Ubiquitin Interaction via Structure-Based Virtual Screening and Bioassays

Lavecchia A.;Di Giovanni C.;Cerchia C.;Russo Annapina;Russo Giulia;Novellino E.
2013

Abstract

Friedreich ataxia (FRDA) is an autosomal recessive neuro- and cardiodegenerative disorder for which there are no proven effective treatments. FRDA is caused by decreased expression and/or function of the mitochondrial protein frataxin. Here, we report findings that frataxin is degraded via the ubiquitin-proteasomal pathway and that it is ubiquitinated at residue K147 in Calu-6 cells. A theoretical model of the frataxin-K147/Ub complex, constructed by combining bioinformatics interface predictions with information-driven docking, revealed a hitherto unnoticed, potential ubiquitin-binding domain in frataxin. Through structure-based virtual screening and cell-based assays, we discovered a novel small molecule (compound (+)-11) able to prevent frataxin ubiquitination and degradation. (+)-11 was synthesized and tested for specific binding to frataxin by an UF-LC/MS based ligand-binding assay. Follow-up scaffold-based searches resulted in the identification of a lead series with micromolar activity in disrupting the frataxin/Ub interaction. This study also suggests that frataxin could be a potential target for FRDA drug development.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/542331
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