Send to

Choose Destination
ACS Chem Biol. 2017 Mar 17;12(3):724-734. doi: 10.1021/acschembio.6b00782. Epub 2017 Jan 24.

Inhibition of Pax2 Transcription Activation with a Small Molecule that Targets the DNA Binding Domain.

Author information

Department of Pathology, University of Michigan , Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, United States.
Molecular and Cellular Pathology Graduate Program, University of Michigan , Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, United States.


The Pax gene family encodes DNA binding transcription factors that control critical steps in embryonic development and differentiation of specific cell lineages. Often, Pax proteins are re-expressed or ectopically expressed in cancer and other diseases of abnormal proliferation, making them attractive targets for tissue specific inhibition by small molecules. In this report, we used a homology model of the Pax2 paired domain and a virtual screen to identify small molecules that can inhibit binding of the paired domain to DNA and Pax2 mediated transcription activation. Candidates from the virtual screen were then confirmed in a cell based Pax2 transactivation assay. Subsequently, we tested analogs of these hits to identify a single compound that effectively blocked Pax2 activity and DNA binding with a Kd of 1.35-1.5 μM. The compound, termed EG1, was used to inhibit embryonic kidney development, a process directly dependent on Pax2 activity. Furthermore, we show that EG1 can inhibit proliferation of Pax2 positive renal and ovarian cancer cell lines but has little effect on Pax2 negative cancer cells. These data confirm that small molecules targeting the DNA binding paired domain can be identified and may be good lead compounds for developing tissue and cell-type specific anticancer therapies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Chemical Society Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center