AKT1, LKB1, and YAP1 revealed as MYC interactors with NanoLuc-based protein-fragment complementation assay.

Predicted cMYC interacting proteins

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Mo XL, Qi Q, Ivanov AA, Niu Q, Luo Y, Havel J, Goetze R, Bell S, Moreno CS, Cooper LA, Johns MA, Khuri FR, Du Y, Fu H

Molecular Pharmacology

January 13, 2017

The c-Myc (MYC) transcription factor is a major cancer driver and a well-validated therapeutic target. However, directly targeting MYC has been challenging. Thus, identifying proteins that interact with and regulate MYC may provide alternative strategies to inhibit its oncogenic activity. Here we report the development of a NanoLuc®-based protein-fragment complementation assay (NanoPCA) and mapping of the MYC protein interaction hub in live mammalian cells. The NanoPCA system was configured to enable detection of protein-protein interactions (PPI) at the endogenous level, as shown with PRAS40 dimerization, and detection of weak interactions, such as PINCH1-NCK2. Importantly, NanoPCA allows the study of PPI dynamics with reversible interactions. To demonstrate its utility for large scale PPI detection in mammalian intracellular environment, we have utilized NanoPCA to examine MYC interaction with eighty-three cancer-associated proteins in live cancer cell lines. Our new MYC PPI data confirmed known MYC-interacting proteins, such as MAX, GSK3A, and SMARCA4, and revealed a panel of novel MYC interaction partners, such as AKT1, LKB1, and YAP1. The MYC interactions with AKT1, LKB1, and YAP1 were confirmed by co-immunoprecipitation of endogenous proteins. Importantly, AKT1, LKB1, and YAP1 were able to activate MYC in a transcriptional reporter assay. Thus, these vital growth control proteins may represent promising MYC regulators, suggesting new mechanisms that couple energetic and metabolic pathways and developmental signaling to MYC-regulated cellular programs.

Last updated: June 27, 2020