Sterol-binding proteins are important regulators of lipid homeostasis and membrane integrity; however, the discovery of selective small molecule modulators can be challenging due to structural similarities in the sterol binding domains. We report the discovery of highly potent and selective inhibitors of oxysterol binding protein (OSBP), which we term oxybipins. Sterol-containing chemical chimeras aimed at identifying new sterol binding proteins by targeted degradation, led to a significant reduction in Golgi-associated proteins. The degradation was found to occur at lysosomes, concomitant with changes in general protein glycosylation, indicating that the degradation of Golgi proteins was a downstream effect. By establishing a sterol transport protein biophysical assay panel, we discovered that the oxybipins potently inhibited OSBP, resulting in blockage of retrograde trafficking and attenuating Shiga toxin toxicity. As the oxybipins do not target any other sterol transporters tested, we advocate their use as chemical tools to study OSBP function and therapeutic relevance.
- Golgi apparatus