Gao C, Bourke E, Scobie M, Famme MA, Koolmeister T, Helleday T, Eriksson LA, Lowndes NF, Brown JA
Sci Rep 4 (-) 5372 [2014-06-20; online 2014-06-20]
Histone acetylation is required for many aspects of gene regulation, genome maintenance and metabolism and dysfunctional acetylation is implicated in numerous diseases, including cancer. Acetylation is regulated by histone acetyltransferases (HATs) and histone deacetylases and currently, few general HAT inhibitors have been described. We identified the HAT Tip60 as an excellent candidate for targeted drug development, as Tip60 is a key mediator of the DNA damage response and transcriptional co-activator. Our modeling of Tip60 indicated that the active binding pocket possesses opposite charges at each end, with the positive charges attributed to two specific side chains. We used structure based drug design to develop a novel Tip60 inhibitor, TH1834, to fit this specific pocket. We demonstrate that TH1834 significantly inhibits Tip60 activity in vitro and treating cells with TH1834 results in apoptosis and increased unrepaired DNA damage (following ionizing radiation treatment) in breast cancer but not control cell lines. Furthermore, TH1834 did not affect the activity of related HAT MOF, as indicated by H4K16Ac, demonstrating specificity. The modeling and validation of the small molecule inhibitor TH1834 represents a first step towards developing additional specific, targeted inhibitors of Tip60 that may lead to further improvements in the treatment of breast cancer.