HZ-6d targeted HERC5 to regulate p53 ISGylation in human hepatocellular carcinoma
Manipulating the posttranslational modulator of p53 is central in the regulation of its activity and function. ISGylated p53 can be degraded by the 20S proteasome. During this process, HERC5/Ceb1, an IFN-induced HECT-type E3 ligase, mediated p53 ISGylation. In this study, we indicated that HERC5 was over-expressed in both HCC tissue samples and cell lines. Knockdown of HERC5 significantly induced the expression of p53, p21 and Bax/Bcl-2 in HCC cells, resulting in apoptosis augment. Whereas, opposite results were obtained by using HERC5 over-expression. On this basis, we screened a 7, 11-disubstituted quinazoline derivative HZ-6d that could bind to the HERC5 G-rich sequence in vitro. Interestingly, HZ-6d injection effectively delayed the growth of xenografts in nude mice. In vitro, HZ-6d significantly inhibited cell growth, suppressed cell migration, induced apoptosis in HCC cells. Further studies demonstrated the anti-cancer effect of HZ-6d was associated with down-regulation of HERC5 and accumulation of p53. Collectively, we demonstrated that HZ6d is a HERC5 G-quadruplex ligand with anti-tumor properties, an action that may offer an attractive idea for restoration of p53 function in cancers.