Disrupting the MAD2L2-Rev1 Complex Enhances Cell Death upon DNA Damage

Nomi Pernicone, Maria Elias, Itay Onn, Dror Tobi, Tamar Listovsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


DNA-damaging chemotherapy agents such as cisplatin have been the first line of treatment for cancer for decades. While chemotherapy can be very effective, its long-term success is often reduced by intrinsic and acquired drug resistance, accompanied by chemotherapy-resistant secondary malignancies. Although the mechanisms causing drug resistance are quite distinct, they are directly connected to mutagenic translesion synthesis (TLS). The TLS pathway promotes DNA damage tolerance by supporting both replication opposite to a lesion and inaccurate single-strand gap filling. Interestingly, inhibiting TLS reduces both cisplatin resistance and secondary tumor formation. Therefore, TLS targeting is a promising strategy for improving chemotherapy. MAD2L2 (i.e., Rev7) is a central protein in TLS. It is an essential component of the TLS polymerase zeta (ζ), and it forms a regulatory complex with Rev1 polymerase. Here we present the discovery of two small molecules, c#2 and c#3, that directly bind both in vitro and in vivo to MAD2L2 and influence its activity. Both molecules sensitize lung cancer cell lines to cisplatin, disrupt the formation of the MAD2L2-Rev1 complex and increase DNA damage, hence underlining their potential as lead compounds for developing novel TLS inhibitors for improving chemotherapy treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number636
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • MAD2L2
  • Small molecules
  • TLS


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