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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Picomolar transition state analogue inhibitors of human 5'-methylthioadenosine phosphorylase and X-ray structure with MT-immucillin-A.

Methythioadenosine phosphorylase (MTAP) functions solely in the polyamine pathway of mammals to remove the methylthioadenosine (MTA) product from both spermidine synthase ( and spermine synthase ( Inhibition of polyamine synthesis is a validated anticancer target. We designed and synthesized chemically stable analogues for the proposed transition state of human MTAP on the basis of the known ribooxacarbenium character at all reported N-ribosyltransferase transition states [Schramm, V. L. (2003) Acc. Chem. Res. 36, 588-596]. Methylthio-immucillin-A (MT-ImmA) is an iminoribitol tight-binding transition state analogue inhibitor with an equilibrium dissociation constant of 1.0 nM. The immucillins resemble the ribooxacarbenium ion transition states of N-ribosyltransferases and are tightly bound as the N4' cations. An ion pair formed between the iminoribitol cation and phosphate anion mimics the ribooxacarbenium cation-phosphate anion pair formed at the transition state and is confirmed in the crystal structure. The X-ray crystal structure of human MTAP with bound MT-Imm-A also reveals that the 5'-methylthio group lies in a flexible hydrophobic pocket. Substitution of the 5'-methylthio group with a 5'-phenylthio group gives an equilibrium binding constant of 1.0 nM. Methylthio-DADMe-immucillin-A is a pyrrolidine analogue of the transition state with a methylene bridge between the 9-deazaadenine group and the pyrrolidine ribooxacarbenium mimic. It is a slow-onset inhibitor with a dissociation constant of 86 pM. Improved binding energy with DADMe-immucillin-A suggests that the transition state is more closely matched by increasing the distance between leaving group and ribooxacarbenium mimics, consistent with a more dissociative transition state. Increasing the hydrophobic volume near the 5'-position at the catalytic site with 5'-phenylthio-DADMe-immucillin-A gave a dissociation constant of 172 pM, slightly weaker than the 5'-methylthio group. p-Cl-phenylthio-DADMe-immucillin-A binds with a dissociation constant of 10 pM (K(m)/K(i) value of 500000), the tightest binding inhibitor reported for MTAP. These slow-onset, tight-binding transition state analogue inhibitors are the most powerful reported for MTAP and have sufficient affinity to be useful in inhibiting the polyamine pathway.[1]


  1. Picomolar transition state analogue inhibitors of human 5'-methylthioadenosine phosphorylase and X-ray structure with MT-immucillin-A. Singh, V., Shi, W., Evans, G.B., Tyler, P.C., Furneaux, R.H., Almo, S.C., Schramm, V.L. Biochemistry (2004) [Pubmed]
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