A novel protein geranylgeranyltransferase-I inhibitor with high potency, selectivity, and cellular activity.
Inhibiting protein prenylation is an attractive means to modulate cellular processes controlled by a variety of signaling proteins, including oncogenic proteins such as Ras and Rho GTPases. The largest class of prenylated proteins contain a so-called CaaX motif at their carboxyl termini and are subject to a maturation process initiated by the attachment of an isoprenoid lipid by either protein farnesyltransferase (FTase) or protein geranylgeranyltransferase type I (GGTase-I). Inhibitors of FTase, termed FTIs, have been the subject of intensive development in the past decade and have shown efficacy in clinical trials. Although GGTase-I inhibitors (GGTIs) have received less attention, accumulating evidence suggests GGTIs may augment therapies using FTIs and could be useful to treat a myriad of additional disease states. Here we describe the characterization of a selective, highly potent, and cell-active GGTase-I inhibitor, GGTI-DU40. Kinetic analysis revealed that inhibition by GGTI-DU40 is competitive with the protein substrate and uncompetitive with the isoprenoid substrate; the Ki for the inhibition is 0.8 nM. GGTI-DU40 is highly selective for GGTase-I both in vitro and in living cells. Studies indicate GGTI-DU40 blocks prenylation of a number of geranylgeranylated CaaX proteins. Treatment of MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells with GGTI-DU40 inhibited thrombin-induced cell rounding via a process that involves inhibition of Rho proteins without significantly effecting parallel mobilization of calcium via Gbetagamma. These studies establish GGTI-DU40 as a prime tool for interrogating biologies associated with protein geranylgeranylation and define a novel structure for this emerging class of experimental therapeutics.
Peterson, YK; Kelly, P; Weinbaum, CA; Casey, PJ
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