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Chem Biol. 2006 Jan;13(1):81-90.

Target structure-based discovery of small molecules that block human p53 and CREB binding protein association.

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Structural Biology Program, Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York University, New York 10029, USA.


Lysine acetylation of human tumor suppressor p53 in response to cellular stress signals is required for its function as a transcription factor that regulates cell cycle arrest, senescence, or apoptosis. Here, we report small molecules that block lysine 382-acetylated p53 association with the bromodomain of the coactivator CBP, an interaction essential for p53-induced transcription of the cell cycle inhibitor p21 in response to DNA damage. These chemicals were discovered in target structure-guided nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy screening of a focused chemical library constructed based on the structural knowledge of CBP bromodomain/p53-AcK382 binding. Structural characterization shows that these chemicals inhibit CBP/p53 association by binding to the acetyl-lysine binding site of the bromodomain. Cell-based functional assays demonstrate that the lead chemicals can modulate p53 stability and function in response to DNA damage.

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