Small-Molecule Inhibition of c-MYC:MAX Leucine Zipper Formation Is Revealed by Ion Mobility Mass Spectrometry

Sophie R. Harvey, Massimiliano Porrini, Christiane Stachl, Derek MacMillan, Giovanna Zinzalla, Perdita E. Barran

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The leucine zipper interaction between MAX and c-MYC has been studied using mass spectrometry and drift time ion mobility mass spectrometry (DT IM-MS) in addition to circular dichroism spectroscopy. Peptides comprising the leucine zipper sequence with (c-MYC-Zip residues 402–434) and without a postulated small-molecule binding region (c-MYC-ZipΔDT residues 406–434) have been synthesized, along with the corresponding MAX leucine zipper (MAX-Zip residues 74–102). c-MYC-Zip:MAX-Zip complexes are observed both in the absence and in the presence of the reported small-molecule inhibitor 10058-F4 for both forms of c-MYC-Zip. DT IM-MS, in combination with molecular dynamics (MD), shows that the c-MYC-Zip:MAX-Zip complex [M+5H]5+ exists in two conformations, one extended with a collision cross section (CCS) of 1164 ± 9.3 Å2 and one compact with a CCS of 982 ± 6.6 Å2; similar values are observed for the two forms of c-MYC-ZipΔDT:MAX-Zip. Candidate geometries for the complexes have been evaluated with MD simulations. The helical leucine zipper structure previously determined from NMR measurements (Lavigne, P.; et al. J. Mol. Biol.1998, 281, 165), altered to include the DT region and subjected to a gas-phase minimization, yields a CCS of 1247 Å2, which agrees with the extended conformation we observe experimentally. More extensive MD simulations provide compact complexes which are found to be highly disordered, with CCSs that correspond to the compact form from experiment. In the presence of the ligand, the leucine zipper conformation is completely inhibited and only the more disordered species is observed, providing a novel method to study the effect of interactions of disordered systems and subsequent inhibition of the formation of an ordered helical complex.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19384-19392
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number47
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2012

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