Structure-guided design and characterization of a clickable, covalent PARP16 inhibitor

Daniel S. Bejan, Sunil Sundalam, Haihong Jin, Rory K. Morgan, Ilsa T. Kirby, Ivan R. Siordia, Barr Tivon, Nir London, Michael S. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PARP16—the sole ER-resident PARP family member—is gaining attention as a potential therapeutic target for cancer treatment. Nevertheless, the precise function of the catalytic activity of PARP16 is poorly understood. This is primarily due to the lack of inhibitors that are selective for PARP16 over other PARP family members. Herein, we describe a structure-guided strategy for generating a selective PARP16 inhibitor by incorporating two selectivity determinants into a phthalazinone pan-PARP inhibitor scaffold: (i) an acrylamide-based inhibitor (DB008) designed to covalently react with a non-conserved cysteine (Cys169, human numbering) in the NAD+ binding pocket of PARP16 and (ii) a dual-purpose ethynyl group designed to bind in a unique hydrophobic cavity adjacent to the NAD+ binding pocket as well as serve as a click handle. DB008 exhibits good selectivity for PARP16 versus other PARP family members. Copper-catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloaddition (CuAAC) confirmed that covalent labeling of PARP16 by DB008 in cells is dependent on Cys169. DB008 exhibits excellent proteome-wide selectivity at concentrations required to achieve saturable labeling of endogenous PARP16. In-cell competition labeling experiments using DB008 provided a facile strategy for evaluating putative PARP16 inhibitors. Lastly, we found that PARP16 is sequestered into a detergent-insoluble fraction under prolonged amino acid starvation, and surprisingly, treatment with PARP16 inhibitors prevented this effect. These results suggest that the catalytic activity of PARP16 regulates its solubility in response to nutrient stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13898-13906
Number of pages9
JournalChemical Science
Issue number46
StatePublished - Nov 16 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)


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