American Chemical Society
jm3c01867_si_006.pdb (61.62 kB)

Discovery of a Hidden Pocket beneath the NES Groove by Novel Noncovalent CRM1 Inhibitors

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Version 2 2023-12-19, 15:37
Version 1 2023-12-18, 07:06
posted on 2023-12-19, 15:37 authored by Cong Li, Qian Zhang, Wenxin Huang, Luyi Huang, Qing Long, Yuqin Lei, Da Jia, Shengyong Yang, Yang Yang, Xia Zhang, Qingxiang Sun
Protein localization is frequently manipulated to favor tumor initiation and progression. In cancer cells, the nuclear export factor CRM1 is often overexpressed and aberrantly localizes many tumor suppressors via protein–protein interactions. Although targeting protein–protein interactions is usually challenging, covalent inhibitors, including the FDA-approved drug KPT-330 (selinexor), were successfully developed. The development of noncovalent CRM1 inhibitors remains scarce. Here, by shifting the side chain of two methionine residues and virtually screening against a large compound library, we successfully identified a series of noncovalent CRM1 inhibitors with a stable scaffold. Crystal structures of inhibitor–protein complexes revealed that one of the compounds, B28, utilized a deeply hidden protein interior cavity for binding. SAR analysis guided the development of several B28 derivatives with enhanced inhibition on nuclear export and growth of multiple cancer cell lines. This work may benefit the development of new CRM1-targeted therapies.