Structural Insights into the Induced-fit Inhibition of Fascin by a Small-Molecule Inhibitor.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


J Mol Biol (2018)


<p>Tumor metastasis is responsible for ~90% of all cancer deaths. One of the key steps of tumor metastasis is tumor cell migration and invasion. Filopodia are cell surface extensions that are critical for tumor cell migration. Fascin protein is the main actin-bundling protein in filopodia. Small-molecule fascin inhibitors block tumor cell migration, invasion, and metastasis. Here we present the structural basis for the mechanism of action of these small-molecule fascin inhibitors. X-ray crystal structural analysis of a complex of fascin and a fascin inhibitor shows that binding of the fascin inhibitor to the hydrophobic cleft between the domains 1 and 2 of fascin induces a ~35 rotation of domain 1, leading to the distortion of both the actin-binding sites 1 and 2 on fascin. Furthermore, the crystal structures of an inhibitor alone indicate that the conformations of the small-molecule inhibitors are dynamic. Mutations of the inhibitor-interacting residues decrease the sensitivity of fascin to the inhibitors. Our studies provide structural insights into the molecular mechanism of fascin protein function as well as the action of small-molecule fascin inhibitors.</p>