Microfluidic Mobility Shift Profiling of Lysine Acetyltransferases Enables Screening and Mechanistic Analysis of Cellular Acetylation Inhibitors.

Paradigms and Technologies
Methods Development


Lysine acetyltransferases (KATs) are critical regulators of signaling in many diseases, including cancer. A major challenge in establishing the targetable functions of KATs in disease is a lack of well-characterized, cell-active KAT inhibitors. To confront this challenge, here we report a microfluidic mobility shift platform for the discovery and characterization of small molecule KAT inhibitors. Novel fluorescent peptide substrates were developed for four well-known KAT enzymes (p300, Crebbp, Morf, and Gcn5). Enzyme-catalyzed acetylation alters the electrophoretic mobility of these peptides in a microfluidic chip, allowing facile and direct monitoring of KAT activity. A pilot screen was used to demonstrate the utility of microfluidic mobility shift profiling to identify known and novel modulators of KAT activity. Real-time kinetic monitoring of KAT activity revealed that garcinol, a natural product KAT inhibitor used in cellular studies, exhibits time-dependent and detergent-sensitive inhibition, consistent with an aggregation-based mechanism. In contrast, the cell-permeable bisubstrate inhibitor Tat-CoA exhibited potent and time-independent KAT inhibition, highlighting its potential utility as a cellular inhibitor of KAT activity. These studies define microfluidic mobility shift profiling as a powerful platform for the discovery and characterization of small molecule inhibitors of KAT activity, and provide mechanistic insights potentially important for the application of KAT inhibitors in cellular contexts.


Sorum, Alexander W; Shrimp, Jonathan; Roberts, Allison M; Montgomery, David C; Tiwari, Neil K; Lal-Nag, Madhu; Simeonov, Anton; Jadhav, Ajit; Meier, Jordan L;

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