3 years ago

Expanding the Scope of Electrophiles Capable of Targeting K-Ras Oncogenes

Expanding the Scope of Electrophiles Capable of Targeting K-Ras Oncogenes
Kevan M. Shokat, Meredith L. Jenkins, Caitlin Kerwin, John E. Burke, Lynn M. McGregor
There is growing interest in reversible and irreversible covalent inhibitors that target noncatalytic amino acids in target proteins. With a goal of targeting oncogenic K-Ras variants (e.g., G12D) by expanding the types of amino acids that can be targeted by covalent inhibitors, we survey a set of electrophiles for their ability to label carboxylates. We functionalized an optimized ligand for the K-Ras switch II pocket with a set of electrophiles previously reported to react with carboxylates and characterized the ability of these compounds to react with model nucleophiles and oncogenic K-Ras proteins. Here, we report that aziridines and stabilized diazo groups preferentially react with free carboxylates over thiols. Although we did not identify a warhead that potently labels K-Ras G12D, we were able to study the interactions of many electrophiles with K-Ras, as most of the electrophiles rapidly label K-Ras G12C. We characterized the resulting complexes by crystallography, hydrogen/deuterium exchange, and differential scanning fluorimetry. Our results both demonstrate the ability of a noncatalytic cysteine to react with a diverse set of electrophiles and emphasize the importance of proper spatial arrangements between a covalent inhibitor and its intended nucleophile. We hope that these results can expand the range of electrophiles and nucleophiles of use in covalent protein modulation.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.biochem.7b00271

DOI: 10.1021/acs.biochem.7b00271

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