ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0425.v1
Online: 20 August 2020 (05:13:23 CEST)
The translocator protein (TSPO) is a transmembrane protein present in the three domains of life. Its functional quaternary structure consists of one or more subunits. In mouse, the dimer-to-monomer equilibrium is shifted in vitro towards the monomer by adding cholesterol, a natural component of mammalian membranes. Here, we present a coarse-grained molecular dynamics study on the mouse protein in the presence of a physiological content and of an excess of cholesterol. The latter turns out to weaken the interfaces of the dimer by clusterizing mostly at the inter-monomeric space and pushing the contact residues apart. It also increases the compactness and the rigidity of the monomer. These two factors might play a role for the experimentally observed incremented stability of the monomeric form with increased content of cholesterol. Comparison with simulations on bacterial proteins suggests that the effect of cholesterol is much less pronounced for the latter than for the mouse protein.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0290.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: RNA-binding protein; human antigen R (HuR); high-throughput virtual screening; small molecule inhibitors; RNA pulldown assay
Online: 3 August 2023 (10:11:15 CEST)
The RNA-binding protein Human antigen R (HuR) regulates stability, translation, and nucleus-to-cytoplasm shuttling of its target mRNAs. The protein has been progressively recognized as a relevant therapeutic target for several pathologies like cancer, neurodegeneration, as well as inflammation. Inhibitors of mRNA binding to HuR might thus be beneficial against a variety of diseases. Here we present the rational identification of structurally novel HuR inhibitors. In particular, by combining chemoinformatics approaches, high throughput virtual screening and RNA–protein pull-down assays, we show that the 4-(2-(2,4,6-trioxotetrahydropyrimidin-5(2H)-ylidene)hydrazineyl)benzoate ligand exhibits dose-dependent HuR inhibition in binding experiments. Importantly, the chemical scaffold is new with respect to the so-far known HuR inhibitors, opening up a new avenue for the design of pharmaceutical agents targeting this important protein.