Hypomorph mutation-directed small-molecule protein-protein interaction inducers to restore mutant SMAD4-suppressed TGF-β signaling

Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V.

Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V.

Tang C, Mo X, Niu Q, Wahafu A, Yang X, Qui M, Ivanov AA, Du Y, Fu H.

Cell Chemical Biology

May 20, 2021

Tumor suppressor genes represent a major class of oncogenic drivers. However, direct targeting of loss-of-function tumor suppressors remains challenging. To address this gap, we explored a variant-directed chemical biology approach to reverse the lost function of tumor suppressors using SMAD4 as an example. SMAD4, a central mediator of the TGF-β pathway, is recurrently mutated in many tumors. Here, we report the development of a TR-FRET technology that recapitulated the dynamic differential interaction of SMAD4 and SMAD4R361H with SMAD3 and identified Ro-31-8220, a bisindolylmaleimide derivative, as a SMAD4R361H/SMAD3 interaction inducer. Ro-31-8220 reactivated the dormant SMAD4R361H-mediated transcriptional activity and restored TGF-β-induced tumor suppression activity in SMAD4 mutant cancer cells. Thus, demonstration of Ro-31-8220 as a SMAD4R361H/SMAD3 interaction inducer illustrates a general strategy to reverse the lost function of tumor suppressors with hypomorph mutations and supports a systematic approach to develop small-molecule protein-protein interaction (PPI) molecular glues for biological insights and therapeutic discovery.

Last updated: May 26, 2021