Mimicking the Nucleosomal Context in Peptide-Based Binders of a H3K36me Reader Increases Binding Affinity while Altering the Binding Mode

Velten Horn, Seino A. K. Jongkees, Hugo van Ingen
2020 Molecules  
Targeting of proteins in the histone modification machinery has emerged as a promising new direction to fight disease. The search for compounds that inhibit proteins that readout histone modification has led to several new epigenetic drugs, mostly for proteins involved in recognition of acetylated lysines. However, this approach proved to be a challenging task for methyllysine readers, which typically feature shallow binding pockets. Moreover, reader proteins of trimethyllysine K36 on the
more » ... e H3 (H3K36me3) not only bind the methyllysine but also the nucleosomal DNA. Here, we sought to find peptide-based binders of H3K36me3 reader PSIP1, which relies on DNA interactions to tightly bind H3K36me3 modified nucleosomes. We designed several peptides that mimic the nucleosomal context of H3K36me3 recognition by including negatively charged Glu-rich regions. Using a detailed NMR analysis, we find that addition of negative charges boosts binding affinity up to 50-fold while decreasing binding to the trimethyllysine binding pocket. Since screening and selection of compounds for reader domains is typically based solely on affinity measurements due to their lack of enzymatic activity, our case highlights the need to carefully control for the binding mode, in particular for the challenging case of H3K36me3 readers.
doi:10.3390/molecules25214951 pmid:33114657 pmcid:PMC7662849 fatcat:5oardfmtpbhwvc3j2zwpvdks5a