Loss of function mutations in the von Hippel-Lindau (pVHL) tumor suppressor protein are tumorigenic. In silico analysis of the structure and folding of WT pVHL identified in its core an aromatic tetrahedron, essential for stabilizing the protein. The mutations disrupt the aromatic tetrahedron, leading to misfolding of pVHL. Using biophysical methods we confirmed the in silico predictions, demonstrating that mutant pVHL proteins have lower stability than the WT, distort the core domain and as a result reduce the ability of the protein to bind its target HIF-1α. Using bacterial pVHL-EGFP based assay we screened for osmolytes capable of restoring folding of mutant pVHL. Among them, Arginine was the most effective and was verified by in vitro assays as a potent re-folder of pVHL. This resulted in functional restoration of the mutant proteins to the level of the WT.
|State||Published - 20 Jun 2013|