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Journal Article

Drug Development for Target Ribosomal Protein rpL35/uL29 for Repair of LAMB3R635X in Rare Skin Disease Epidermolysis Bullosa


Lottspeich,  Friedrich
Lottspeich, Friedrich / Protein Analysis, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Rathner, A., Rathner, P., Friedrich, A., Wiessner, M., Kitzler, C. M., Schernthaner, J., et al. (2021). Drug Development for Target Ribosomal Protein rpL35/uL29 for Repair of LAMB3R635X in Rare Skin Disease Epidermolysis Bullosa. Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 34(4), 167-182. doi:10.1159/000513260.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0009-C134-2
Introduction: Epidermolysis bullosa (EB) describes a family of rare genetic blistering skin disorders. Various subtypes are clinically and genetically heterogeneous, and a lethal postpartum form of EB is the generalized severe junctional EB (gs-JEB). gs-JEB is mainly caused by premature termination codon (PTC) mutations in the skin anchor protein LAMB3 (laminin subunit beta-3) gene. The ribosome in majority of translational reads of LAMB3PTC mRNA aborts protein synthesis at the PTC signal, with production of a truncated, nonfunctional protein. This leaves an endogenous readthrough mechanism needed for production of functional full-length Lamb3 protein albeit at insufficient levels. Here, we report on the development of drugs targeting ribosomal protein L35 (rpL35), a ribosomal modifier for customized increase in production of full-length Lamb3 protein from a LAMB3PTC mRNA. Methods: Molecular docking studies were employed to identify small molecules binding to human rpL35. Molecular determinants of small molecule binding to rpL35 were further characterized by titration of the protein with these ligands as monitored by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy in solution. Changes in NMR chemical shifts were used to map the docking sites for small molecules onto the 3D structure of the rpL35. Results: Molecular docking studies identified 2 FDA-approved drugs, atazanavir and artesunate, as candidate small-molecule binders of rpL35. Molecular interaction studies predicted several binding clusters for both compounds scattered throughout the rpL35 structure. NMR titration studies identified the amino acids participating in the ligand interaction. Combining docking predictions for atazanavir and artesunate with rpL35 and NMR analysis of rpL35 ligand interaction, one binding cluster located near the N-terminus of rpL35 was identified. In this region, the nonidentical binding sites for atazanavir and artesunate overlap and are accessible when rpL35 is integrated in its natural ribosomal environment. Conclusion: Atazanavir and artesunate were identified as candidate compounds binding to ribosomal protein rpL35 and may now be tested for their potential to trigger a rpL35 ribosomal switch to increase production of full-length Lamb3 protein from a LAMB3PTC mRNA for targeted systemic therapy in treating gs-JEB.