An efficient high-throughput screening method for MYST family acetyltransferases, a new class of epigenetic drug targets

Hendrik Falk, Theresa Connor, Hong Yang, Karen J Loft, Joanne L Alcindor, George Nikolakopoulos, Regina N Surjadi, John D Bentley, Meghan Hattarki, Olan Dolezal, James M Murphy, Brendon Monahan, Thomas Peat, Tim Thomas, Jonathan Bayldon Baell, John P Parisot, Ian Philip Street

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42 Citations (Scopus)


Epigenetic aberrations are increasingly regarded as key factors in cancer progression. Recently, deregulation of histone acetyltransferases (HATs) has been linked to several types of cancer. Monocytic leukemia zinc finger protein (MOZ) is a member of the MYST family of HATs, which regulate gene expression in cell proliferation and differentiation. Deregulation of these processes through constitutively active MOZ fusion proteins gives rise to the formation of leukemic stem cells, rendering MOZ an excellent target for treating myeloid leukemia. The authors implemented a hit discovery campaign to identify small-molecule inhibitors of MOZ-HAT activity. They developed a robust, homogeneous assay measuring the acetylation of synthetic histone peptides. In a primary screening campaign testing 243 000 lead-like compounds, they identified inhibitors from several chemical classes. Secondary assays were used to eliminate assay-interfering compounds and prioritize confirmed hits. This study establishes a new high-throughput assay for HAT activity and could provide the foundation for the development of a new class of drugs for the treatment of leukemias.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1196 - 1205
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biomolecular Screening
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

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