Multilevel structure–activity profiling reveals multiple green tea compound families that each modulate ubiquitin-activating enzyme and ubiquitination by a distinct mechanism

Gabriel Fenteany, Paras Gaur, Lili Hegedűs, Kata Dudás, Ernő Kiss, Edit Wéber, László Hackler, Tamás Martinek, László G. Puskás, Lajos Haracska

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We developed and implemented a reconstituted system to screen for modulators of the ubiquitination of proliferating cell nuclear antigen, a process that activates pathways of DNA damage tolerance and drug resistance. We identified the primary putatively health-beneficial green tea polyphenol epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and certain related small molecules as potent inhibitors of ubiquitination. EGCG directly and reversibly targets the ubiquitin-activating enzyme Uba1, blocking formation of the Uba1~ubiquitin thioester conjugate and thus ubiquitination and in the cell. Structure–activity relationship profiles across multiple biochemical and cellular assays for a battery of EGCG analogues revealed distinct chemical and mechanism-of-action clusters of molecules, with catechin gallates, alkyl gallates, and myricetin potently inhibiting ubiquitination. This study defines a number of related though distinct first-in-class inhibitors of ubiquitination, each series with its own unique activity pattern and mechanistic signature.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12801
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - dec. 1 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

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