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Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2006 Jul;13(7):582-8. Epub 2006 Jun 18.

Molecular basis for the inhibition of human NMPRTase, a novel target for anticancer agents.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Columbia University, New York, New York 10027, USA.


Nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NMPRTase) has a crucial role in the salvage pathway of NAD+ biosynthesis, and a potent inhibitor of NMPRTase, FK866, can reduce cellular NAD+ levels and induce apoptosis in tumors. We have determined the crystal structures at up to 2.1-A resolution of human and murine NMPRTase, alone and in complex with the reaction product nicotinamide mononucleotide or the inhibitor FK866. The structures suggest that Asp219 is a determinant of substrate specificity of NMPRTase, which is confirmed by our mutagenesis studies. FK866 is bound in a tunnel at the interface of the NMPRTase dimer, and mutations in this binding site can abolish the inhibition by FK866. Contrary to current knowledge, the structures show that FK866 should compete directly with the nicotinamide substrate. Our structural and biochemical studies provide a starting point for the development of new anticancer agents.

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