Identification of a Wells-Dawson polyoxometalatebased AP-2γ inhibitor with pro-apoptotic activity

Jiamiao Hu, Si Kee Tan, Michelle Gek Liang Lim, Shie Hong Chang, Guimei Cui, Shanshan Liu, Kamesh Narasimhan, Siu Yee New, Xuecong Wang, Congling Chen, Harapriya Chakravarty, Prasanna Kolatkar, Kin Yip Tam, Qian Lu, Xiaodi Su, Ralf Jauch, Edwin Cheung

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2 Citations (Scopus)


AP-2 gamma (AP-2γ) is a transcription factor that plays pivotal roles in breast cancer biology. To search for small molecule inhibitors of AP-2γ, we performed a high-throughput fluorescence anisotropy screen and identified a polyoxometalate compound with Wells-Dawson structure K6[P2Mo18O62] (Dawson-POM) that blocks the DNA-binding activity of AP-2γ. We showed that this blocking activity is due to the direct binding of Dawson-POM to AP-2γ. We also provided evidence to show that Dawson-POM decreases AP-2γ-dependent transcription similar to silencing the gene. Finally, we demonstrated that Dawson-POM contains anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects in breast cancer cells. In summary, we identified the first small molecule inhibitor of AP-2γ and showed Dawson-POM-mediated inhibition of AP-2γ as a potential avenue for cancer therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1965-1977
Number of pages13
JournalBiochemical Journal
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2018


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

Cite this

Hu, J., Tan, S. K., Lim, M. G. L., Chang, S. H., Cui, G., Liu, S., Narasimhan, K., New, S. Y., Wang, X., Chen, C., Chakravarty, H., Kolatkar, P., Tam, K. Y., Lu, Q., Su, X., Jauch, R., & Cheung, E. (2018). Identification of a Wells-Dawson polyoxometalatebased AP-2γ inhibitor with pro-apoptotic activity. Biochemical Journal, 475(11), 1965-1977.