The ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) is a well-controlled, selective mechanism for intracellular protein degradation and turnover. New understanding of the role and molecular mechanisms involved in the dysregulation of the UPS has led to its emergence
as a key regulator of protein function and stability. Although implicated to play a role in cancer, CNS, infectious diseases and more, the multi-step processes involved, and the diversity of substrates makes it difficult to target the UPS. However,
in recent years, the development of high-quality chemical probes and assay technologies has turned it into one of the most exciting targets for discovering novel drugs. In the UPS, the ligases and deubiquitinases (DUBs) have recently attracted a lot
of attention as possible targets for clinical intervention. Cambridge Healthtech Institute’s Targeting the Ubiquitin-Proteasome System conference will bring together a diverse group of chemists and biologists to discuss the promise and challenges
in modulating the UPS. This conference will be preceded by a symposium that focuses on targeting autophagy pathways and will draw on some of the synergies between these two areas of research.
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Wednesday, September 26
7:00 am Registration Open and Morning Coffee
8:00 Welcome Remarks
Tanuja Koppal, PhD, Conference Director, Cambridge Healthtech Institute
8:05 Chairperson’s Opening Remarks
Daniel Finley, PhD, Professor, Department of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School
8:10 USP14: Mechanism, Specificity, and Inhibition
Daniel Finley, PhD, Professor, Department of Cell Biology, Harvard
USP14, a proteasomal deubiquitinating enzyme, can rapidly remove ubiquitin prior to substrate commitment to degradation, thus rescuing substrates from a fate of degradation. Accordingly, small-molecule USP14 inhibitors that we have identified can stimulate
the degradation of specific proteasome targets. USP14 shows a novel principle of selectivity in that it only deubiquitinates proteins carrying multiple ubiquitin chains. USP14 is activated ~1000-fold by the proteasome. We will discuss interesting
new mutants that prevent this activation.
8:40 Conformational Remodeling of USP7 Catalytic Domain to Promote Deubiquitinating Activity
Ayşegül Özen, PhD, Scientist II, Blueprint Medicines
USP7 catalytic domain (USP7cd) shows limited activity alone and is regulated by intramolecular domains. Structural features stabilizing the inactive state and atomistic mechanism of activation remain unclear. By comparative structural analyses, molecular
dynamics simulations, and in silico sequence re-engineering, we identified key determinants of USP7cd activation, engineered USP7cd for improved activity, and show that electrostatics in a distal loop and local packing
in the core together modulate USP7cd activation.
9:10 Targeting the Deubiquitinase STAMBP Inhibits Inflammasome Activity
Joseph S. Bednash, MD, Postdoctoral Scholar, Division of
Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, University of Pittsburgh
Inflammasomes regulate innate immune responses by facilitating maturation of inflammatory cytokines, interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-18. The deubiquitinase enzyme, STAM-binding protein (STAMBP) is necessary for inflammasome activation and IL-1β
secretion after Toll-like receptor (TLR) agonism. A small-molecule inhibitor of STAMBP suppresses IL-1β release after TLR agonism in both cell and tissue models. These findings describe a unique pathway of inflammasome regulation with the
identification of STAMBP as a potential therapeutic target.
9:40 Grand Opening Coffee Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing
10:25 New Screening Technologies and Chemical Probes Targeting the Ubiquitin System: Inhibitors, Activators, and Degraders
Alexander Statsyuk, PhD, Assistant Professor,
Department of Pharmacological and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Houston
The Ubiquitin System has emerged as promising system for drug discovery. Two major principles of targeting the ubiquitin system have emerged: direct targeting of the enzymes that control protein ubiquitination, and hijacking E3 ligases to induce protein
degradation. In this lecture I will outline novel screening tools and technologies to discover small molecule inhibitors/activators and hijackers for RBR/HECT E3 ligases.
10:55 A Targeted Quantitative Proteomic Assay for Parkinson’s Disease That Measures the Dynamics of Ubiquitin Events on Mitochondria and Their Modulation by Small Molecules
Alban Ordureau, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Laboratory of
Dr. Wade Harper, Department of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School
The kinase PINK1 and Ub ligase Parkin, both mutated in Parkinson’s disease, promote mitochondrial outer membrane ubiquitylation and mitophagy. We have developed a quantitative proteomics approach that allows the dynamics and site specificity
of Parkin-dependent mitochondrial ubiquitylation to be assessed in model systems and ES cell-derived neurons. We demonstrate that this approach can be used to monitor the activity of activators, inhibitors and regulators of the pathway with precision.
11:25 Mass Spectrometry Analysis of Linkage-Specific Ubiquitin Sites in Response to Oxidative Stress
Gustavo M. Silva, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department
of Biology, Duke University
Oxidative stress is a prevalent condition that can lead to cell death, causing a variety of human diseases. To combat the harmful effects of oxidative stress, protein ubiquitination plays a significant role in regulating function, location, and
fate of the proteome. Although the ubiquitin system is highly complex, here we used mass spectrometry to tease out a distinct ubiquitin signal, revealing new pathways relevant for stress response.
11:55 Drugging the Undruggable: Discovering Novel Drugs for the Ubiquitin-Proteasome System
Peter Foote, PhD, Senior Scientist II, Research
& Development, LifeSensors
While ubiquitin regulates critical disease pathways, few FDA-approved drugs target the UPS, due to a lack of physiological HTS tools and PD markers for cellular activity. We have developed assays enabled by Tandem Ubiquitin Binding Entities (TUBEs)
to quantitate cellular substrate ubiquitylation and help accelerate successful compounds to the clinic.
12:10 Sponsored Presentation (Opportunity Available)
12:25 pm Session Break
12:35 Luncheon Presentation (Sponsorship Opportunity Available) or Enjoy Lunch on Your Own
1:15 Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing
1:50 Chairperson’s Remarks
Henry Johnson, PhD, Principal Scientist, Kezar Life Sciences
1:55 Targeting the Immunoproteasome
Henry Johnson, PhD, Principal Scientist, Kezar Life Sciences
Building upon the success of bortezomib (VELCADE) and carfilzomib (KYPROLIS) the design of a next generation of inhibitors targeting specific subunits within the immunoproteasome is of interest for the treatment of autoimmune disease. Selective
immunoproteasome inhibition blocks inflammatory cytokine production and alters pro-inflammatory T-cell plasticity without effecting cell viability. A campaign was undertaken to design selective covalent inhibitors of each of the three catalytic
subunits of the immunoproteasome (LMP7, LMP2, and MECL-1) and will be described in this talk.
2:25 Small Molecule Activation of Proteasome Activity
Jetze Tepe, PhD, Associate Professor of Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Michigan State University
Intrinsically disordered proteins are important, low-abundant signaling proteins targeted for degradation by the 20S proteasome. When over-expressed, these disordered proteins are directly implicated in many human diseases, including neurodegenerative
diseases and cancer. Our work demonstrates that small molecules can enhance the catalytic degradation of intrinsically disordered proteins by the 20S proteasome, which represents a new therapeutic strategy to combat human diseases.
2:55 Sponsored Presentation (Opportunity Available)
3:25 Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing and Poster Competition Winner Announced
4:05 USP7 Inhibition Impairs FOXP3+ Treg Function and Promotes Antitumor Immunity
Wayne W. Hancock, MD, PhD, Professor, Pathology
and Chief of Transplant Immunology, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and University of Pennsylvania
FOXP3+ T-regulatory (Treg) cells are present in increased numbers and display significantly enhanced suppressive function compared to Tregs isolated from adjacent lung, lymph node or blood of the same individual, leading to potent suppression
of host anti-tumor immunity. USP7 inhibition is able to preferentially impair FOXP3+ Treg function while maintaining host-anti-tumor immunity, leading to beneficial effects when used alone or in conjunction with checkpoint blockade,
vaccination or other therapeutic approaches.
4:35 Potent and Selective USP7 Inhibitors Target Multiple Tumor Types through Diverse Mechanisms
Paul Kassner, PhD,
Vice President, FLX Bio, Inc.
USP7 is a deubiquitinase with multiple downstream targets. Inhibitors of USP7 are expected to decrease function of oncogenes, increase tumor suppressor function, enhance immune function and sensitize tumor cells to DNA damaging agents.
FLX Bio has developed potent and selective inhibitors of USP7 as a novel approach to cancer therapy.
5:05 Interactive Breakout Discussion Groups - View Details
Join a breakout discussion group. These are informal, moderated discussions with brainstorming and interactive problem solving, allowing participants from diverse backgrounds to exchange ideas and experiences and develop future collaborations
around a focused topic.
Novel Targets for Cancer in the Proteostasis Space
Moderator: Alexander Statsyuk, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacological and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Houston
- Biological insights into the Ubiquitin-Proteasome System pathway
- Target validation approaches for novel proteostasis targets
- Emerging proteostasis targets
Screening Tools to Identify PROTACS, Kinases and Other Molecules
Moderator: Davide Gianni, PhD, Team Leader, Discovery Sciences, AstraZeneca
- Biochemical, biophysical and cellular based approaches to monitor ternary complex formation
- Approaches to identify novel E3 ligases and E3 ligase ligands
6:05 Welcome Reception in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing
7:10 Close of Day
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Thursday, September 27
7:30 am Registration Open and Morning Coffee
8:00 Chairperson’s Remarks
Gregory A. Michaud, PhD, Chemical Genetics, Chemical Biology and Therapeutics (CBT), Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Inc.
8:05 Novel Small Molecule-Dependent Substrates for Ubiquitin Ligases
Gregory A. Michaud, PhD, Chemical Genetics,
Chemical Biology and Therapeutics (CBT), Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Inc.
8:35 Ubiquitin Code-Reading, Writing and Editing: Future of Breakthrough Therapies
Tauseef R. Butt, PhD, President and CEO, Progenra,
We are currently developing small molecules that inhibit the cancer-supporting DUBs and ubiquitin ligases. The DUB inhibitors are capable of both killing tumor cells directly and suppressing regulatory T cells, thereby unleashing effector
T cells, which identify and kill tumor cells. These results constitute the first example of a small molecule single agent that works by targeting both the tumor itself and the tumor’s ability to escape surveillance and killing
by the host immune system and, in addition, by eliminating tumor metastasis.
9:05 Sponsored Presentation (Opportunity Available)
9:35 Coffee Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing
10:20 Plate-Based Approach to Identify PROTACS Molecules and Protein Degraders
Davide Gianni, PhD, Team Leader, Discovery Sciences,
PROTACS provide a new modality to drug previously challenging targets and much evidence indicates that protein degraders are a mode of inhibition that can be pursued post HTS. Western Blot is mostly used to characterize PROTACS molecules,
but it has a number of obvious limitations. The adoption of plate-based approaches is essential in PROTACS and several options are available such as, antibody-based and non-antibody based approaches. We will present two case studies
building plate-based, HTS-friendly protein degradation assays potentially applicable for PROTACS identification campaigns.
10:50 PROTACS: The Chemical Equivalent of CRISPR
Shanique Alabi, Graduate Student, Laboratory of Dr. Craig Crews, Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, Yale University
Induced protein degradation offers several advantages over traditional inhibition strategies and has emerged recently as a potential therapeutic option. For the past 16 years, we have helped develop this fast-growing field, shepherding
our initial chemical biology concept into a drug development strategy that is on the verge of clinical validation. PROTACS with high target selectivity, potency, and oral bioavailability will be discussed as well as a system to address
the ‘PROTACability’ of particular E3 ligases.
11:20 Luncheon Presentation (Sponsorship Opportunity Available) or Enjoy Lunch on Your Own
11:50 Conference Registration Open
12:20 pm Plenary Keynote Program
2:00 Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing
2:45 Close of Conference
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