Publication I September 07, 2021

Regulation of cadherin dimerization by chemical fragments as a trigger to inhibit cell adhesion

Many cadherin family proteins are associated with diseases such as cancer. Since cell adhesion requires homodimerization of cadherin molecules, a small-molecule regulator of dimerization would have therapeutic potential. Herein, we describe identification of a P-cadherin-specific chemical fragment that inhibits P-cadherin-mediated cell adhesion. Although the identified molecule is a fragment compound, it binds to a cavity of P-cadherin that has not previously been targeted, indirectly prevents formation of hydrogen bonds necessary for formation of an intermediate called the X dimer and thus modulates the process of X dimerization. Our findings will impact on a strategy for regulation of protein-protein interactions and stepwise assembly of protein complexes using small molecules.