LAF389 is a synthetic analogue of bengamides, a class of marine natural products that produce inhibitory effects on tumor growth in vitro and in vivo. A proteomics-based approach has been used to identify signaling pathways affected by bengamides. LAF389 treatment of cells resulted in altered mobility of a subset of proteins on two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. Detailed analysis of one of the proteins, 14-3-3γ, showed that bengamide treatment resulted in retention of the amino-terminal methionine, suggesting that bengamides directly or indirectly inhibited methionine aminopeptidases (MetAps). Both known MetAps are inhibited by LAF389. Short interfering RNA suppression of MetAp2 also altered amino-terminal processing of 14-3-3γ. A high resolution structure of human MetAp2 co-crystallized with a bengamide shows that the compound binds in a manner that mimics peptide substrates. Additionally, the structure reveals that three key hydroxyl groups on the inhibitor coordinate the di-cobalt center in the enzyme active site.
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