Small molecule control of intracellular protein levels allows temporal and dose-dependent regulation of protein function. Recently, we developed a method to degrade proteins fused to a mutant dehalogenase (HaloTag2) using small molecule hydrophobic tags (HyTs). Here, we introduce a complementary method to stabilize the same HaloTag2 fusion proteins, resulting in a unified system allowing bidirectional control of cellular protein levels in a temporal and dose-dependent manner. From a small molecule screen, we identified N-(3,5-dichloro-2-ethoxybenzyl)-2H-tetrazol-5-amine as a nanomolar HALoTag2 Stabilizer (HALTS1) that reduces the Hsp70:HaloTag2 interaction, thereby preventing HaloTag2 ubiquitination. Finally, we demonstrate the utility of the HyT/HALTS system in probing the physiological role of therapeutic targets by modulating HaloTag2-fused oncogenic H-Ras, which resulted in either the cessation (HyT) or acceleration (HALTS) of cellular transformation. In sum, we present a general platform to study protein function, whereby any protein of interest fused to HaloTag2 can be either degraded 10-fold or stabilized 5-fold using two corresponding compounds.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Medicine