Virtual ligand screening of the p300/CBP histone acetyltransferase: Identification of a selective small molecule inhibitor

Erin M. Bowers, Gai Yan, Chandrani Mukherjee, Andrew Orry, Ling Wang, Marc A. Holbert, Nicholas T. Crump, Catherine A. Hazzalin, Glen Liszczak, Hua Yuan, Cecilia Larocca, S. Adrian Saldanha, Ruben Abagyan, Yan Sun, David J. Meyers, Ronen Marmorstein, Louis C. Mahadevan, Rhoda M. Alani, Philip A. Cole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

351 Scopus citations


The histone acetyltransferase (HAT) p300/CBP is a transcriptional coactivator implicated in many gene regulatory pathways and protein acetylation events. Although p300 inhibitors have been reported, a potent, selective, and readily available active-sitedirected small molecule inhibitor is not yet known. Here we use a structure-based, in silico screening approach to identify a commercially available pyrazolone- containing small molecule p300 HAT inhibitor, C646. C646 is a competitive p300 inhibitor with a Ki of 400 nM and is selective versus other acetyltransferases. Studies on site-directed p300 HAT mutants and synthetic modifications of C646 confirm the importance of predicted interactions in conferring potency. Inhibition of histone acetylation and cell growth by C646 in cells validate its utility as a pharmacologic probe and suggest that p300/CBP HAT is a worthy anticancer target.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)471-482
Number of pages12
JournalChemistry and Biology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jul 7 2010
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry

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