DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Ribonucleotide Reductase, (RNR) is a multi-subunit enzyme that catalyzes the rate-limiting step of de novo precursor DMA synthesis by converting nucleotide diphosphates to deoxynucleotide diphosphates. Crucial for rapidly proliferating cells, RNR is a target for anti-cancer and anti-viral therapy. Recently, we solved the first X -ray structures of eukaryotic ribonucleotide reductase 1 from Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The twelve structures solved reveal two new domains, the structural basis for substrate selection in eukaryotes and the mode of binding of the anti-cancer drug Gemcitabine and ribonucleotide reductase based peptides; the latter complex provides a framework for designing anti-cancer drugs that disrupt the enzyme's multi-subunit assembly. We have expressed and purified the human Rnr1 for crystallization. Until the mammalian Rnr1 structure is solved, the yeast structures provide an invaluable starting point for designing inhibitors that target Rnr1. We will solve the X-ray structures of Rnr1 complexed with inhibitors that target the effector sites (Eg. Clofarabine) and catalytic site (3NUDP) as well as bifunctional molecules that target both effector and catalytic sites (dGTP-ADP linked covalently), and peptidomimetics that disrupt RNR assembly. These structures will provide a starting point for knowledge based drug design. As a proof of principle we have shown that a mouse Rnr2 based inhibitor binds yeast Rnr1. The compounds have been provided by our collaborators Dr. Barry Cooperman (UPENN), Dr. Vasha Ghandi (MD Anderson), and Dr. Willam Parker at the Southern Research Institute. We will also study how SmM binds Rnr1 using cross-linking, limited proteolysis, surface mapping in tandem with mass spectrometry. The structures of intact Sml1-Rnr1 and Rnr1-Sml1peptide complexes will be determined. We will use site-directed mutagenesis to confirm the MS results on the Sml1 binding site, identify the function of the newly identified insert domains and the role of crucial residues identified by our structures that confer substrate specificity. Finally, we will investigate the structural basis of the synthetically lethal mismatch repair mutants identified by Dr. Julian Simon at the Fred Hutchninson Cancer Center. The work proposed will further our understanding on how the vital enzyme ribonucleotide reductase is regulated and the structure based design of inhibitors against it will be important for the therapeutic intervention of proliferative diseases such as cancer.