Cancer-associated variants of human NQO1: Impacts on inhibitor binding and cooperativity

Clare F. Megarity, David J. Timson

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    Human NAD(P)H quinone oxidoreductase (DT-diaphorase, NQO1) exhibits negative cooperativity towards its potent inhibitor, dicoumarol. Here, we addressed the hypothesis that the effects of the two cancer-associated polymorphisms (p.R139W and p.P187S) may be partly mediated by their effects on inhibitor binding and negative cooperativity. Dicoumarol stabilized both variants and bound with much higher affinity for p.R139W than p.P187S. Both variants exhibited negative cooperativity towards dicoumarol; in both cases, the Hill coefficient (h) was approximately 0.5 and similar to that observed with the wild-type protein. NQO1 was also inhibited by resveratrol and by nicotinamide. Inhibition of NQO1 by resveratrol was approximately 10,000-fold less strong than that observed with the structurally similar enzyme, NRH quinine oxidoreductase 2 (NQO2). The enzyme exhibited non-cooperative behaviour towards nicotinamide, whereas resveratrol induced modest negative cooperativity (h = 0.85). Nicotinamide stabilized wild-type NQO1 and p.R139W towards thermal denaturation but had no detectable effect on p.P187S. Resveratrol destabilized the wild-type enzyme and both cancer-associated variants. Our data suggest that neither polymorphism exerts its effect by changing the enzyme’s ability to exhibit negative cooperativity towards inhibitors. However, it does demonstrate that resveratrol can inhibit NQO1 in addition to this compound’s well-documented effects on NQO2. The implications of these findings for molecular pathology are discussed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numberBSR20191874
    JournalBioscience Reports
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - 6 Sept 2019

    Bibliographical note

    © 2019 The Author(s). This is an open access article published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society and distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (CC BY).


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