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Title: Purine-based dual inhibitors of CDK2 and CDK7
Authors: Meschini, Elisa
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: Cyclin-Dependent Kinases (CDKs) play a fundamental role in eukaryotic cell cycle progression, particularly at cell cycle checkpoints, and are therefore important targets for anticancer drug discovery. Activation of CDK2 in complex with Cyclin A regulates entry into S phase of the eukaryotic cell cycle. CDK7, a dual-function enzyme, acts both as a CDK-Activating Kinase (CAK) and as a component of the general transcription factor TFIIH. However, experiments with MAT1-knockdown mice have shown that cell cycle arrest by CAK inhibition would not be detrimental for transcriptional activity in non-dividing cells, as CDK9 in complex with Cyclin T can perform transcriptional duties in the absence of TFIIH. Previous studies have resulted in the identification of NU6102 (1, IC50 mM = 0.005 (CDK2), 4.4 (CDK7)) as a potent and selective CDK2 inhibitor, and NU6247 (2, IC50 mM = 0.12 (CDK2), 0.23 (CDK7)) as an equipotent CDK2/7 inhibitor. It was shown that the sulfonamide group of 1 confers potency and selectivity for CDK2, whereas the pendant piperazinyl substituent of 2 diminishes CDK2 actvity whilst improving activity versus CDK7. S NH N N NH N O O O 2 N N AccordinglyAs part of the work described in the present thesis, sulfonamide 3 (IC50 mM = 0.012 (CDK2), 0.67 (CDK7)) was synthesised and found to be is a potent CDK2 inhibitor, but with some CDK7-inhibitory activity (IC50 mM = 0.012 (CDK2), 0.67 (CDK7)). Further elaboration of the side-chain function has enabled the development of structure-activity relationships (SARs), and the identification of purines (e.g. 4, IC50 mM = 2.6 (CDK2), 0.56 (CDK7)) exhibiting some selectivity for CDK7, albeit with a loss of potency. 4 Subsequent SAR studies conducted on 2 have enabled the following observations to be made: firstly, the purine 6-cyclohexylmethoxy substituent is necessary for activity, with the corresponding 6-unsubstituted purine (5, IC50 mM = 46.9 (CDK2), 20.8 (CDK7)) exhibiting a 100-fold loss of potency against both CDK2 and CDK7. A terminal basic group (e.g. piperazinyl in 2) is required for activity, as replacement by a cyclohexyl substituent results in loss of activity against both kinases (6, 11% inhibition at 10 mM (CDK2), 13% inhibition at 100 mM (CDK7)). The sulfone linker is not a prerequisite for CDK7 activity, with the simple alkylpiperazine derivative (7, IC50 mM = 0.48 (CDK2), 0.51 (CDK7)) exhibiting comparable potency and selectivity. Finally, there appears to be some opportunity for expansion into the gatekeeper pocket of CDK7 by introducing small substituents at the purine C-8 position, with the potential for selectivity over CDK2 (8, 47% inhibition at 100 mM (CDK2), IC50 = 5 mM (CDK7)). Isolation and biological evaluation of the vinyl sulfone 9, an intermediate in the synthesis of 2, indicated a time-dependent inhibition of CDK2, suggesting that 9 is an irreversible inhibitor of CDK2. This would be the first reported irreversible inhibitor of a cyclin-dependent kinase, and therefore the activity of the compound against CDK2 was investigated using protein crystallography and site-directed mutagenesis 5 techniques. From these studies, encouraging evidence has emerged that 9 acts as an irreversible inhibitor of CDK2, covalently binding to a lysine residue within the ATP-binding pocket.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Chemistry

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