The Journal of biological chemistry

Enhanced SH3/linker interaction overcomes Abl kinase activation by gatekeeper and myristic acid binding pocket mutations and increases sensitivity to small molecule inhibitors.

PMID 23303187


Multidomain kinases such as c-Src and c-Abl are regulated by complex allosteric interactions involving their noncatalytic SH3 and SH2 domains. Here we show that enhancing natural allosteric control of kinase activity by SH3/linker engagement has long-range suppressive effects on the kinase activity of the c-Abl core. Surprisingly, enhanced SH3/linker interaction also dramatically sensitized the Bcr-Abl tyrosine kinase associated with chronic myelogenous leukemia to small molecule inhibitors that target either the active site or the myristic acid binding pocket in the kinase domain C-lobe. Dynamics analyses using hydrogen exchange mass spectrometry revealed a remarkable allosteric network linking the SH3 domain, the myristic acid binding pocket, and the active site of the c-Abl core, providing a structural basis for the biological observations. These results suggest a rational strategy for enhanced drug targeting of Bcr-Abl and other multidomain kinase systems that use multiple small molecules to exploit natural mechanisms of kinase control.