Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) from green tea can induce apoptosis in cancerous cells, but the underlying molecular mechanisms remain poorly understood. Using SPR and NMR, here we report a direct, μM interaction between EGCG and the tumor suppressor p53 (KD = 1.6 ± 1.4 μM), with the disordered N-terminal domain (NTD) identified as the major binding site (KD = 4 ± 2 μM). Large scale atomistic simulations (>100 μs), SAXS and AUC demonstrate that EGCG-NTD interaction is dynamic and EGCG causes the emergence of a subpopulation of compact bound conformations. The EGCG-p53 interaction disrupts p53 interaction with its regulatory E3 ligase MDM2 and inhibits ubiquitination of p53 by MDM2 in an in vitro ubiquitination assay, likely stabilizing p53 for anti-tumor activity. Our work provides insights into the mechanisms for EGCG’s anticancer activity and identifies p53 NTD as a target for cancer drug discovery through dynamic interactions with small molecules.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)