Department of Chemistry
Identification of a natural product-like STAT3 dimerization inhibitor by structure-based virtual screening
STAT3 regulates a variety of genes involved with cell proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, angiogenesis, metastasis, inflammation, and immunity. The purpose of this study was to apply molecular docking techniques to identify STAT3 inhibitors from a database of over 90 000 natural product and natural product-like compounds. The virtual screening campaign furnished 14 hit compounds, from which compound 1 emerged as a top candidate. Compound 1 inhibited STAT3 DNA-binding activity in vitro and attenuated STAT3-directed transcription in cellulo with selectivity over STAT1 and with comparable potency to the well-known STAT3 inhibitor S3I-201. Furthermore, compound 1 inhibited STAT3 dimerization and decreased STAT3 phosphorylation in cells without affecting STAT1 dimerization and phosphorylation. Compound 1 also exhibited selective anti-proliferative activity against cancer cells over normal cells in vitro. Molecular docking analysis suggested that compound 1 might putatively function as an inhibitor of STAT3 dimerization by binding to the SH2 domain. This study also validates the use of in silico techniques to identify inhibitors of protein-protein interactions, which are typically considered difficult to target with small molecules. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.
Source Publication Title
Cell Death and Disease
Nature Publishing Group
Link to Publisher's Edition
Liu, L., Leung, K., Chan, D., Wang, Y., Ma, D., & Leung, C. (2014). Identification of a natural product-like STAT3 dimerization inhibitor by structure-based virtual screening. Cell Death and Disease, 5 (e1293), 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1038/cddis.2014.250