Targeting the SET and RING-associated (SRA) domain of ubiquitin-like, PHD and ring finger–containing 1 (UHRF1) for anti-cancer drug development
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Debasis Patnaik1, Pierre-Olivier Estève2 and Sriharsa Pradhan2
1Meliorate Inc., North Weymouth, MA, 02191, USA
2New England Biolabs Inc., Ipswich, MA, 01938, USA
Debasis Patnaik, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sriharsa Pradhan, email: email@example.com
Keywords: UHRF1; SRA domain; cancer; DNA methylation; epigenetic target
Received: January 29, 2018 Accepted: May 02, 2018 Published: May 25, 2018
Ubiquitin-like containing PHD Ring Finger 1 (UHRF1) is a multi-domain protein with a methyl-DNA binding SRA (SET and RING-associated) domain, required for maintenance DNA methylation mediated by DNMT1. Primarily expressed in proliferating cells, UHRF1 is a cell-cycle regulated protein that is required for S phase entry. Furthermore, UHRF1 participates in transcriptional gene regulation by connecting DNA methylation to histone modifications. Upregulation of UHRF1 may serve as a biomarker for a variety of cancers; including breast, gastric, prostate, lung and colorectal carcinoma. To this end, overexpression of UHRF1 promotes cancer metastasis by triggering aberrant patterns of DNA methylation, and subsequently, silencing tumor suppressor genes. Various small molecule effectors of UHRF1 have been reported in the literature, although the mechanism of action may not be fully characterized. Small molecules that potentially bind to the SRA domain may affect the ability of UHRF1 to bind hemimethylated DNA; thereby reducing aberrant DNA methylation. Therefore, in a subset of cancers, small molecule UHRF1 inhibitors may restore normal gene expression and serve as useful anti-cancer therapeutics.
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