Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol.140, No.32, 10263-10269, 2018
Complementary Steric Engineering at the Protein-Ligand Interface for Analogue-Sensitive TET Oxygenases
Ten-eleven translocation (TET) enzymes employ O-2 earth-abundant iron, and 2-ketoglutarate (2KG) to perform iterative C-H oxidation of 5-methylcytosine in DNA to control expression of the mammalian genome. Given that more than 60 such C-H oxygenases are present in humans, determining context-dependent functions of each of these enzymes is a pivotal challenge. In an effort to tackle the problem, we developed analogue-sensitive TET enzymes to perturb the activity of a specific member. We rationally engineered the TET2-2KG interface to develop TET2 variants with an expanded active site that can be specifically inhibited by the N-oxalylglycine (NOG) derivatives carrying a complementary steric "bump". Herein, we describe the identification and engineering of a bulky gatekeeper residue for TET proteins, characterize the orthogonal mutant-inhibitor pairs, and show generality of the approach. Employing cell-permeable NOG analogues, we show that the TET2 mutant can be specifically inhibited to conditionally modulate cytosine methylation in chromosomal DNA in intact human cells. Finally, we demonstrate application of the orthogonal mutant-inhibitor pair to probe transcriptional activity of a specific TET member in cells. Our work provides a general platform for developing analogue-sensitive 2KG-dependent oxygenases to unravel their functions in diverse signaling processes.