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Covalent Inhibitors of Protein–Protein Interactions Targeting Lysine, Tyrosine, or Histidine Residues

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posted on 16.05.2019, 00:00 by Luca Gambini, Carlo Baggio, Parima Udompholkul, Jennifer Jossart, Ahmed F. Salem, J. Jefferson P. Perry, Maurizio Pellecchia
We have recently reported a series of Lys-covalent agents targeting the BIR3 domain of the X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP) using a benzamide-sulfonyl fluoride warhead. Using XIAP as a model system, we further investigated a variety of additional warheads that can be easily incorporated into binding peptides and analyzed their ability to form covalent adducts with lysine and other amino acids, including tyrosine, histidine, serine, and threonine, using biochemical and biophysical assays. Moreover, we tested aqueous, plasma stability, cell permeability, and cellular efficacy of the most effective agents. These studies identified aryl-fluoro sulfates as likely the most suitable electrophiles to effectively form covalent adducts with Lys, Tyr, and His residues, given that these agents were cell permeable and stable in aqueous buffer and in plasma. Our studies contain a number of general findings that open new possible avenues for the design of potent covalent protein–protein interaction antagonists.