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Chem Biol. 2007 Oct;14(10):1186-97.

Allosteric inhibition of the protein-protein interaction between the leukemia-associated proteins Runx1 and CBFbeta.

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Department of Chemistry, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904, USA.


The two subunits of core binding factor (Runx1 and CBFbeta) play critical roles in hematopoiesis and are frequent targets of chromosomal translocations found in leukemia. The binding of the CBFbeta-smooth muscle myosin heavy chain (SMMHC) fusion protein to Runx1 is essential for leukemogenesis, making this a viable target for treatment. We have developed inhibitors with low micromolar affinity which effectively block binding of Runx1 to CBFbeta. NMR-based docking shows that these compounds bind to CBFbeta at a site displaced from the binding interface for Runx1, that is, these compounds function as allosteric inhibitors of this protein-protein interaction, a potentially generalizable approach. Treatment of the human leukemia cell line ME-1 with these compounds shows decreased proliferation, indicating these are good candidates for further development.

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