Conformational stabilization of FOX–DNA complex architecture to sensitize prostate cancer chemotherapy
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The forkhead box (FOX) transcription factor is a family of tumor suppressors that negatively regulates the tumorigenesis activity of prostate cancer; stabilization of FOX–DNA complex architecture has been recognized as a new and promising strategy for sensitizing cancer chemotherapy. Here, we described a systematic method that combined in silico analysis and in vitro assay to investigate the intermolecular interaction between FOX DNA-binding domain (DBD) and its cognate DNA partner. The structural and energetic information harvested from the molecular investigation were used to guide high-throughput virtual screening against a structurally diverse, nonredundant library of natural product compounds, aiming at discovery of novel small-molecule medicines that can conformationally stabilize and promote FOX–DNA recognition and interaction. The screening identified a number of theoretically promising hits, which were then examined by using fluorescence anisotropy assay to determine their binding potency for FOX DBD domain. The antitumor activity of identified high-affinity compounds was also tested at cellular level. Structural dynamics analysis found that the small-molecule stabilizers can shift the conformational equilibrium of FOX DBD to DNA-bound state, thus promoting the protein domain to bind tightly with its DNA partner.
KeywordsForkhead box High-throughput virtual screening Structural dynamics Chemotherapy Prostate cancer
This work was supported by The First Affiliated Hospital of Xiamen University.
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