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Structure of the Stapled p53 Peptide Bound to Mdm2

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journal contribution
posted on 11.01.2012, 00:00 by Sohee Baek, Peter S. Kutchukian, Gregory L. Verdine, Robert Huber, Tad A. Holak, Ki Won Lee, Grzegorz M. Popowicz
Mdm2 is a major negative regulator of the tumor suppressor p53 protein, a protein that plays a crucial role in maintaining genome integrity. Inactivation of p53 is the most prevalent defect in human cancers. Inhibitors of the Mdm2–p53 interaction that restore the functional p53 constitute potential nongenotoxic anticancer agents with a novel mode of action. We present here a 2.0 Å resolution structure of the Mdm2 protein with a bound stapled p53 peptide. Such peptides, which are conformationally and proteolytically stabilized with all-hydrocarbon staples, are an emerging class of biologics that are capable of disrupting protein–protein interactions and thus have broad therapeutic potential. The structure represents the first crystal structure of an i, i + 7 stapled peptide bound to its target and reveals that rather than acting solely as a passive conformational brace, a staple can intimately interact with the surface of a protein and augment the binding interface.