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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019 Jul 9;116(28):13937-13942. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1906024116. Epub 2019 Jun 25.

Allosteric modulation of a human protein kinase with monobodies.

Author information

1
Department of Biochemistry, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA 02454.
2
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA 02454.
3
Perlmutter Cancer Center, New York University Langone Health, New York, NY 10016.
4
Department of Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY 10016.
5
Perlmutter Cancer Center, New York University Langone Health, New York, NY 10016; dkern@brandeis.edu Shohei.Koide@nyumc.org.
6
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY 10016.
7
Department of Biochemistry, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA 02454; dkern@brandeis.edu Shohei.Koide@nyumc.org.

Abstract

Despite being the subject of intense effort and scrutiny, kinases have proven to be consistently challenging targets in inhibitor drug design. A key obstacle has been promiscuity and consequent adverse effects of drugs targeting the ATP binding site. Here we introduce an approach to controlling kinase activity by using monobodies that bind to the highly specific regulatory allosteric pocket of the oncoprotein Aurora A (AurA) kinase, thereby offering the potential for more specific kinase modulators. Strikingly, we identify a series of highly specific monobodies acting either as strong kinase inhibitors or activators via differential recognition of structural motifs in the allosteric pocket. X-ray crystal structures comparing AurA bound to activating vs inhibiting monobodies reveal the atomistic mechanism underlying allosteric modulation. The results reveal 3 major advantages of targeting allosteric vs orthosteric sites: extreme selectivity, ability to inhibit as well as activate, and avoidance of competing with ATP that is present at high concentrations in the cells. We envision that exploiting allosteric networks for inhibition or activation will provide a general, powerful pathway toward rational drug design.

KEYWORDS:

Aurora A; allosteric drugs; allostery; kinase; monobody

PMID:
31239342
PMCID:
PMC6628680
[Available on 2019-12-25]
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1906024116

Conflict of interest statement

Conflict of interest statement: D.K. and A.Z. are the inventors on pending patents applied for by Brandeis University that describe compositions and methods for modulating kinase activity (US20180334510A1 and US20190038582A1). A.K. and S. Koide are listed as inventors on issued and pending patents on the monobody technology filed by The University of Chicago (US Patent 9512199 B2 and related pending applications).

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