Development of a Three-Hybrid Split-Luciferase System for Interrogating Protein Kinase Inhibition
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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EmbargoEmbargo: Release after 06/15/2012
AbstractEukaryotic protein kinases are one of the most important classes of human proteins, and a great deal of research has focused on the development of small molecule inhibitors as biological probes for the determination of their cellular function or as therapeutics for the treatment of disease, such as cancer. The need for new selective inhibitors and a better understanding of the selectivities of existing small molecules is readily apparent. Towards the goal of better understanding protein kinases and the molecules that inhibit them, I have developed a split-protein-based approach for the investigation of these kinase-small molecule interactions. Employing split-firefly luciferase as a reporter domain, we engineered a three-hybrid system capable of determining kinase inhibition through competitive interactions between an active site-directed ligand and a small molecule of interest. This method measures luciferase activity as a function of ligand binding, as opposed to the more traditional assays which quantify kinase activity directly, and alleviates the laborious process of protein purification. The model kinase PKA and the promiscuous ligand staurosporine were used in an initial test case to successfully validate the general design principles of our assay. The modular nature inherent to the assay's design enabled us to adapt it to roughly 300 additional protein kinases and two different ligands. We were able to establish a protocol for rapidly ascertaining the inhibition of a kinase by a library of 80 commercially available kinase inhibitors in a 96-well, high-throughput format. This protocol was then systematically applied to the AGC group of kinases to observe patterns of inhibition across similarly related kinases. We have further shown how these results might be correlated with the sequence identity between kinases to better anticipate inhibitor promiscuity. Finally, we were able to illustrate how a kinase-centric approach could be applied to correlate alterations to the kinase domain with changes in luminescence. This has use for the interrogation of different modes of inhibition as well as in identifying the specific determinants of inhibitor binding. In total, these efforts represent the optimization of a new, general platform for determining kinase inhibitor selectivity across the kinome, and it could potentially be applied universally to the interrogation of protein-ligand interactions.
Degree ProgramGraduate College