Missense mutations in p53 are severely deleterious and occur in over 50% of all human cancers. The majority of these mutations are located in the inherently unstable DNA-binding domain (DBD), many of which destabilize the domain further and expose its aggregation-prone hydrophobic core, prompting self-assembly of mutant p53 into inactive cytosolic amyloid-like aggregates. Screening an oligopyridylamide library, previously shown to inhibit amyloid formation associated with Alzheimer’s disease and type II diabetes, identified a tripyridylamide, ADH-6, that abrogates self-assembly of the aggregation-nucleating subdomain of mutant p53 DBD. Moreover, ADH-6 targets and dissociates mutant p53 aggregates in human cancer cells, which restores p53’s transcriptional activity, leading to cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Notably, ADH-6 treatment effectively shrinks xenografts harboring mutant p53, while exhibiting no toxicity to healthy tissue, thereby substantially prolonging survival. This study demonstrates the successful application of a bona fide small-molecule amyloid inhibitor as a potent anticancer agent.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)