Protein-protein interactions forming dominant signalling events are providing ever-growing platforms for the development of novel Biologic tools for controlling cell growth. Casein Kinase 1 a (CK1a) forms a genetic and physical interaction with the murine double minute chromosome 2 (MDM2) oncoprotein resulting in degradation of the p53 tumour suppressor. Pharmacological inhibition of CK1 increases p53 protein level and induces cell death, whilst small interfering RNA-mediated depletion of CK1a stabilizes p53 and induces growth arrest. We mapped the dominant protein-protein interface that stabilizes the MDM2 and CK1a complex in order to determine whether a peptide derived from the core CK1a-MDM2 interface form novel Biologics that can be used to probe the contribution of the CK1-MDM2 protein-protein interaction to p53 activation and cell viability. Overlapping peptides derived from CK1a were screened for dominant MDM2 binding sites using (i) ELISA with recombinant MDM2; (ii) cell lysate pull-down towards endogenous MDM2; (iii) MDM2-CK1a complex-based competition ELISA; and (iv) MDM2-mediated ubiquitination. One dominant peptide, peptide 35 was bioactive in all four assays and its transfection induced cell death/growth arrest in a p53-independent manner. Ectopic expression of flag-tagged peptide 35 induced a novel ubiquitin and NEDD8 modification of CK1a, providing one of the first examples whereby NEDDylation of a protein kinase can be induced. These data identify an MDM2 binding motif in CK1a which when isolated as a small peptide can (i) function as a dominant negative inhibitor of the CK1a-MDM2 interface, (ii) be used as a tool to study NEDDylation of CK1a, and (iii) reduce cell growth. Further, this approach provides a technological blueprint, complementing siRNA and chemical biology approaches, by exploiting protein-protein interactions in order to develop Biologics to manipulate novel types of signalling pathways such as cross-talk between NEDDylation, protein kinase signalling, and cell survival.
Huart, A-S., MacLaine, N. J., Narayan, V., & Hupp, T. R. (2012). Exploiting the MDM2-CK1α protein-protein interface to develop novel biologics that induce UBL-kinase-modification and inhibit cell growth. PLoS ONE, 7(8), [e43391]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0043391