Herein we report the first small molecule that disrupts the survivin-Smac interaction taking place in mitochondria. The inhibitor, PZ-6-QN, was identified by initially screening a phenothiazine library using a fluorescence anisotropy assay and then conducting a structure–activity relationship study. Mutagenesis and molecular docking studies suggest that PZ-6-QN binds to survivin similarly to the known Smac peptide, AVPI. The results of the effort also show that PZ-6-QN exhibits good anticancer activity against various cancer cells. Moreover, cell-based mechanistic studies provide evidence for the proposal that PZ-6-QN enters mitochondria to inhibit the survivin-Smac interaction and promotes release of Smac and cytochrome c from mitochondria into the cytosol, a process that induces apoptosis in cancer cells. Overall, the present study suggests that PZ-6-QN can serve as a novel chemical probe for study of processes associated with the mitochondrial survivin-Smac interaction and it will aid the discovery of novel anticancer agents.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Organic Chemistry