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Structural basis for the binding of the anticancer compound 6-(7-nitro-2,1,3-benzoxadiazol-4-ylthio)hexanol to human glutathione s-transferases.

Federici L., Lo Sterzo C., Pezzola S., Di Matteo A., Scaloni F., Federici G., Caccuri A.M.

Glutathione S-transferases (GST) constitute a superfamily of enzymes with diversified functions including detoxification from xenobiotics. In many human cancers, Pi class GST (GSTP1-1) is overexpressed and contributes to multidrug resistance by conjugating chemotherapeutics. In addition, GSTP1-1 displays antiapoptotic activity by interacting with c-Jun NH(2)-terminal kinase, a key regulator of apoptosis. Therefore, GSTP1-1 is considered a promising target for pharmaceutical treatment. Recently, a potent inhibitor of GSTs, 6-(7-nitro-2,1,3-benzoxadiazol-4-ylthio)hexanol (NBDHEX), was identified and tested on several tumor cell lines demonstrating high antiproliferative activity. To establish the structural basis of NBDHEX activity, we determined the crystal structure of NBDHEX bound to either GSTP1-1 or GSTM2-2 (mu class). NBDHEX in both cases binds to the H-site but occupies different positions. Furthermore, the compound is covalently attached to the GSH sulfur in the GSTM2-2 crystal, forming a sigma-complex, although it is bound but not conjugated in the GSTP1-1 crystal. Several differences in the H-sites of the two isozymes determine the higher affinity of NBDHEX for GSTM2-2 with respect to GSTP1-1. One such difference is the presence of Ile(104) in GSTP1-1 close to the bound NBDHEX, whereas the corresponding position is occupied by an alanine in GSTM2-2. Mutation of Ile(104) into valine is a frequent GSTP1-1 polymorphism and we show here that the Ile(104)Val and Ile(104)Ala variants display a 4-fold higher affinity for the compound. Remarkably, the GSTP1-1/Ile(104)Ala structure in complex with NBDHEX shows a considerable shift of the compound inside the H-site. These data might be useful for the development of new anticancer compounds.

Cancer Res. 69:8025-8034(2009) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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