National Center for
4N5T: The 1.7A Crystal Structure of MDMX with a Stapled Peptide, ATSP-7041
Stapled alpha-helical peptide drug development: a potent dual inhibitor of MDM2 and MDMX for p53-dependent cancer therapy
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. (2013) 110 p.E3445-E3454
Stapled alpha-helical peptides have emerged as a promising new modality for a wide range of therapeutic targets. Here, we report a potent and selective dual inhibitor of MDM2 and MDMX, ATSP-7041, which effectively activates the p53 pathway in tumors in vitro and in vivo. Specifically, ATSP-7041 binds both MDM2 and MDMX with nanomolar affinities, shows submicromolar cellular activities in cancer cell lines in the presence of serum, and demonstrates highly specific, on-target mechanism of action. A high resolution (1.7-A) X-ray crystal structure reveals its molecular interactions with the target protein MDMX, including multiple contacts with key amino acids as well as a role for the hydrocarbon staple itself in target engagement. Most importantly, ATSP-7041 demonstrates robust p53-dependent tumor growth suppression in MDM2/MDMX-overexpressing xenograft cancer models, with a high correlation to on-target pharmacodynamic activity, and possesses favorable pharmacokinetic and tissue distribution properties. Overall, ATSP-7041 demonstrates in vitro and in vivo proof-of-concept that stapled peptides can be developed as therapeutically relevant inhibitors of protein-protein interaction and may offer a viable modality for cancer therapy.