Identification of quercitrin as an inhibitor of the p90 S6 ribosomal kinase (RSK): Structure of its complex with the N-terminal domain of RSK2 at 1.8Å resolution

Urszula Derewenda, Mykhaylo Artamonov, Gabriela Szukalska, Darkhan Utepbergenov, Natalya Olekhnovich, Hardik I. Parikh, Glen E. Kellogg, Avril V. Somlyo, Zygmunt S. Derewenda

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Members of the RSK family of kinases constitute attractive targets for drug design, but a lack of structural information regarding the mechanism of selective inhibitors impedes progress in this field. The crystal structure of the N-terminal kinase domain (residues 45-346) of mouse RSK2, or RSK2 NTKD, has recently been described in complex with one of only two known selective inhibitors, a rare naturally occurring flavonol glycoside, kaempferol 3-O-(3′′,4′′-di-O-acetyl-l-rhamnopyranoside), known as SL0101. Based on this structure, it was hypothesized that quercitrin (quercetin 3-O-l-rhamnopyranoside), a related but ubiquitous and inexpensive compound, might also act as an RSK inhibitor. Here, it is demonstrated that quercitrin binds to RSK2NTKD with a dissociation constant (K d) of 5.8μM as determined by isothermal titration calorimetry, and a crystal structure of the binary complex at 1.8Å resolution is reported. The crystal structure reveals a very similar mode of binding to that recently reported for SL0101. Closer inspection shows a number of small but significant differences that explain the slightly higher K d for quercitrin compared with SL0101. It is also shown that quercitrin can effectively substitute for SL0101 in a biological assay, in which it significantly suppresses the contractile force in rabbit pulmonary artery smooth muscle in response to Ca2+.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266-275
Number of pages10
JournalActa Crystallographica Section D: Biological Crystallography
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2013


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology

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