Rankin, S.S., Caldwell, J.J., Cronin, N.B., van Montfort, R.L. & Collins, I.
(2016). Synthesis of a Ribose-Incorporating Medium Ring Scaffold via a Challenging Ring-Closing Metathesis Reaction. European j org chem,
A practical synthesis of a novel oxabicyclo[6.2.1]undecenetriol useful as a medicinal chemistry scaffold has been developed starting from l-ribose. The sequence involves an oxidation/Grignard addition sequence and a challenging ring-closing metathesis (RCM) reaction as the ring forming step. Exploration of the RCM substrate protecting groups revealed the key factor for successful nine-membered medium ring formation to be conformational bias of the reacting alkenes of the RCM substrate by very bulky silyl ether protecting groups. The synthesis also allowed access to an epimeric triol and saturated and unsaturated variants of the nine-membered ring. The medium ring conformation of the oxabicyclo[6.2.1]undecenetriol was determined by X-ray crystallography and correlated to the solution state conformation by NMR experiments..
Osborne, J.D., Matthews, T.P., McHardy, T., Proisy, N., Cheung, K.-., Lainchbury, M., Brown, N., Walton, M.I., Eve, P.D., Boxall, K.J., et al.
(2016). Multiparameter Lead Optimization to Give an Oral Checkpoint Kinase 1 (CHK1) Inhibitor Clinical Candidate: (R)-5-((4-((Morpholin-2-ylmethyl)amino)-5-(trifluoromethyl)pyridin-2-yl)amino)pyrazine-2-carbonitrile (CCT245737). J med chem,
Multiparameter optimization of a series of 5-((4-aminopyridin-2-yl)amino)pyrazine-2-carbonitriles resulted in the identification of a potent and selective oral CHK1 preclinical development candidate with in vivo efficacy as a potentiator of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) damaging chemotherapy and as a single agent. Cellular mechanism of action assays were used to give an integrated assessment of compound selectivity during optimization resulting in a highly CHK1 selective adenosine triphosphate (ATP) competitive inhibitor. A single substituent vector directed away from the CHK1 kinase active site was unexpectedly found to drive the selective cellular efficacy of the compounds. Both CHK1 potency and off-target human ether-a-go-go-related gene (hERG) ion channel inhibition were dependent on lipophilicity and basicity in this series. Optimization of CHK1 cellular potency and in vivo pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic (PK-PD) properties gave a compound with low predicted doses and exposures in humans which mitigated the residual weak in vitro hERG inhibition..
Walton, M.I., Eve, P.D., Hayes, A., Henley, A.T., Valenti, M.R., De Haven Brandon, A.K., Box, G., Boxall, K.J., Tall, M., Swales, K., et al.
(2016). The clinical development candidate CCT245737 is an orally active CHK1 inhibitor with preclinical activity in RAS mutant NSCLC and Eµ-MYC driven B-cell lymphoma. Oncotarget,
CCT245737 is the first orally active, clinical development candidate CHK1 inhibitor to be described. The IC50 was 1.4 nM against CHK1 enzyme and it exhibited>1,000-fold selectivity against CHK2 and CDK1. CCT245737 potently inhibited cellular CHK1 activity (IC50 30-220 nM) and enhanced gemcitabine and SN38 cytotoxicity in multiple human tumor cell lines and human tumor xenograft models. Mouse oral bioavailability was complete (100%) with extensive tumor exposure. Genotoxic-induced CHK1 activity (pS296 CHK1) and cell cycle arrest (pY15 CDK1) were inhibited both in vitro and in human tumor xenografts by CCT245737, causing increased DNA damage and apoptosis. Uniquely, we show CCT245737 enhanced gemcitabine antitumor activity to a greater degree than for higher doses of either agent alone, without increasing toxicity, indicating a true therapeutic advantage for this combination. Furthermore, development of a novel ELISA assay for pS296 CHK1 autophosphorylation, allowed the quantitative measurement of target inhibition in a RAS mutant human tumor xenograft of NSCLC at efficacious doses of CCT245737. Finally, CCT245737 also showed significant single-agent activity against a MYC-driven mouse model of B-cell lymphoma. In conclusion, CCT245737 is a new CHK1 inhibitor clinical development candidate scheduled for a first in man Phase I clinical trial, that will use the novel pS296 CHK1 ELISA to monitor target inhibition..
Sadok, A., McCarthy, A., Caldwell, J., Collins, I., Garrett, M.D., Yeo, M., Hooper, S., Sahai, E., Kuemper, S., Mardakheh, F.K., et al.
(2015). Rho kinase inhibitors block melanoma cell migration and inhibit metastasis. Cancer res,
There is an urgent need to identify new therapeutic opportunities for metastatic melanoma. Fragment-based screening has led to the discovery of orally available, ATP-competitive AKT kinase inhibitors, AT13148 and CCT129254. These compounds also inhibit the Rho-kinases ROCK 1 and ROCK 2 and we show they potently inhibit ROCK activity in melanoma cells in culture and in vivo. Treatment of melanoma cells with CCT129254 or AT13148 dramatically reduces cell invasion, impairing both "amoeboid-like" and mesenchymal-like modes of invasion in culture. Intravital imaging shows that CCT129254 or AT13148 treatment reduces the motility of melanoma cells in vivo. CCT129254 inhibits melanoma metastasis when administered 2 days after orthotopic intradermal injection of the cells, or when treatment starts after metastases have arisen. Mechanistically, our data suggest that inhibition of ROCK reduces the ability of melanoma cells to efficiently colonize the lungs. These results suggest that these novel inhibitors of ROCK may be beneficial in the treatment of metastasis..
Joshi, A., Newbatt, Y., McAndrew, P.C., Stubbs, M., Burke, R., Richards, M.W., Bhatia, C., Caldwell, J.J., McHardy, T., Collins, I., et al.
(2015). Molecular mechanisms of human IRE1 activation through dimerization and ligand binding. Oncotarget,
IRE1 transduces the unfolded protein response by splicing XBP1 through its C-terminal cytoplasmic kinase-RNase region. IRE1 autophosphorylation is coupled to RNase activity through formation of a back-to-back dimer, although the conservation of the underlying molecular mechanism is not clear from existing structures. We have crystallized human IRE1 in a back-to-back conformation only previously seen for the yeast homologue. In our structure the kinase domain appears primed for catalysis but the RNase domains are disengaged. Structure-function analysis reveals that IRE1 is autoinhibited through a Tyr-down mechanism related to that found in the unrelated Ser/Thr protein kinase Nek7. We have developed a compound that potently inhibits human IRE1 kinase activity while stimulating XBP1 splicing. A crystal structure of the inhibitor bound to IRE1 shows an increased ordering of the kinase activation loop. The structures of hIRE in apo and ligand-bound forms are consistent with a previously proposed model of IRE1 regulation in which formation of a back-to-back dimer coupled to adoption of a kinase-active conformation drive RNase activation. The structures provide opportunities for structure-guided design of IRE1 inhibitors. .
Lainchbury, M., Matthews, T.P., McHardy, T., Boxall, K.J., Walton, M.I., Eve, P.D., Hayes, A., Valenti, M.R., de Haven Brandon, A.K., Box, G., et al.
(2012). Discovery of 3-alkoxyamino-5-(pyridin-2-ylamino)pyrazine-2-carbonitriles as selective, orally bioavailable CHK1 inhibitors. J med chem,
Inhibitors of checkpoint kinase 1 (CHK1) are of current interest as potential antitumor agents, but the most advanced inhibitor series reported to date are not orally bioavailable. A novel series of potent and orally bioavailable 3-alkoxyamino-5-(pyridin-2-ylamino)pyrazine-2-carbonitrile CHK1 inhibitors was generated by hybridization of two lead scaffolds derived from fragment-based drug design and optimized for CHK1 potency and high selectivity using a cell-based assay cascade. Efficient in vivo pharmacokinetic assessment was used to identify compounds with prolonged exposure following oral dosing. The optimized compound (CCT244747) was a potent and highly selective CHK1 inhibitor, which modulated the DNA damage response pathway in human tumor xenografts and showed antitumor activity in combination with genotoxic chemotherapies and as a single agent..
Ali, M.M., Bagratuni, T., Davenport, E.L., Nowak, P.R., Silva-Santisteban, M.C., Hardcastle, A., McAndrews, C., Rowlands, M.G., Morgan, G.J., Aherne, W., et al.
(2011). Structure of the Ire1 autophosphorylation complex and implications for the unfolded protein response. Embo j,
Ire1 (Ern1) is an unusual transmembrane protein kinase essential for the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) unfolded protein response (UPR). Activation of Ire1 by association of its N-terminal ER luminal domains promotes autophosphorylation by its cytoplasmic kinase domain, leading to activation of the C-terminal ribonuclease domain, which splices Xbp1 mRNA generating an active Xbp1s transcriptional activator. We have determined the crystal structure of the cytoplasmic portion of dephosphorylated human Ire1α bound to ADP, revealing the 'phosphoryl-transfer' competent dimeric face-to-face complex, which precedes and is distinct from the back-to-back RNase 'active' conformation described for yeast Ire1. We show that the Xbp1-specific ribonuclease activity depends on autophosphorylation, and that ATP-competitive inhibitors staurosporin and sunitinib, which inhibit autophosphorylation in vitro, also inhibit Xbp1 splicing in vivo. Furthermore, we demonstrate that activated Ire1α is a competent protein kinase, able to phosphorylate a heterologous peptide substrate. These studies identify human Ire1α as a target for development of ATP-competitive inhibitors that will modulate the UPR in human cells, which has particular relevance for myeloma and other secretory malignancies..
Reader, J.C., Matthews, T.P., Klair, S., Cheung, K.-., Scanlon, J., Proisy, N., Addison, G., Ellard, J., Piton, N., Taylor, S., et al.
(2011). Structure-guided evolution of potent and selective CHK1 inhibitors through scaffold morphing. J med chem,
Pyrazolopyridine inhibitors with low micromolar potency for CHK1 and good selectivity against CHK2 were previously identified by fragment-based screening. The optimization of the pyrazolopyridines to a series of potent and CHK1-selective isoquinolines demonstrates how fragment-growing and scaffold morphing strategies arising from a structure-based understanding of CHK1 inhibitor binding can be combined to successfully progress fragment-derived hit matter to compounds with activity in vivo. The challenges of improving CHK1 potency and selectivity, addressing synthetic tractability, and achieving novelty in the crowded kinase inhibitor chemical space were tackled by multiple scaffold morphing steps, which progressed through tricyclic pyrimido[2,3-b]azaindoles to N-(pyrazin-2-yl)pyrimidin-4-amines and ultimately to imidazo[4,5-c]pyridines and isoquinolines. A potent and highly selective isoquinoline CHK1 inhibitor (SAR-020106) was identified, which potentiated the efficacies of irinotecan and gemcitabine in SW620 human colon carcinoma xenografts in nude mice..
Caldwell, J.J., Welsh, E.J., Matijssen, C., Anderson, V.E., Antoni, L., Boxall, K., Urban, F., Hayes, A., Raynaud, F.I., Rigoreau, L.J., et al.
(2011). Structure-based design of potent and selective 2-(quinazolin-2-yl)phenol inhibitors of checkpoint kinase 2. J med chem,
Structure-based design was applied to the optimization of a series of 2-(quinazolin-2-yl)phenols to generate potent and selective ATP-competitive inhibitors of the DNA damage response signaling enzyme checkpoint kinase 2 (CHK2). Structure-activity relationships for multiple substituent positions were optimized separately and in combination leading to the 2-(quinazolin-2-yl)phenol 46 (IC(50) 3 nM) with good selectivity for CHK2 against CHK1 and a wider panel of kinases and with promising in vitro ADMET properties. Off-target activity at hERG ion channels shown by the core scaffold was successfully reduced by the addition of peripheral polar substitution. In addition to showing mechanistic inhibition of CHK2 in HT29 human colon cancer cells, a concentration dependent radioprotective effect in mouse thymocytes was demonstrated for the potent inhibitor 46 (CCT241533)..
McHardy, T., Caldwell, J.J., Cheung, K.M., Hunter, L.J., Taylor, K., Rowlands, M., Ruddle, R., Henley, A., de Haven Brandon, A., Valenti, M., et al.
(2010). Discovery of 4-amino-1-(7H-pyrrolo[2,3-d]pyrimidin-4-yl)piperidine-4-carboxamides as selective, orally active inhibitors of protein kinase B (Akt). J med chem,
Protein kinase B (PKB or Akt) is an important component of intracellular signaling pathways regulating growth and survival. Signaling through PKB is frequently deregulated in cancer, and inhibitors of PKB therefore have potential as antitumor agents. The optimization of lipophilic substitution within a series of 4-benzyl-1-(7H-pyrrolo[2,3-d]pyrimidin-4-yl)piperidin-4-amines provided ATP-competitive, nanomolar inhibitors with up to 150-fold selectivity for inhibition of PKB over the closely related kinase PKA. Although active in cellular assays, compounds containing 4-amino-4-benzylpiperidines underwent metabolism in vivo, leading to rapid clearance and low oral bioavailability. Variation of the linker group between the piperidine and the lipophilic substituent identified 4-amino-1-(7H-pyrrolo[2,3-d]pyrimidin-4-yl)piperidine-4-carboxamides as potent and orally bioavailable inhibitors of PKB. Representative compounds modulated biomarkers of signaling through PKB in vivo and strongly inhibited the growth of human tumor xenografts in nude mice at well-tolerated doses..
Workman, P. & Collins, I.
(2010). Probing the probes: fitness factors for small molecule tools. Chem biol,
Chemical probes for interrogating biological processes are of considerable current interest. Cell permeable small molecule tools have a major role in facilitating the functional annotation of the human genome, understanding both physiological and pathological processes, and validating new molecular targets. To be valuable, chemical tools must satisfy necessary criteria and recent publications have suggested objective guidelines for what makes a useful chemical probe. Although recognizing that such guidelines may be valuable, we caution against overly restrictive rules that may stifle innovation in favor of a "fit-for-purpose" approach. Reviewing the literature and providing examples from the cancer field, we recommend a series of "fitness factors" to be considered when assessing chemical probes. We hope this will encourage innovative chemical biology research while minimizing the generation of poor quality and misleading biological data, thus increasing understanding of the particular biological area, to the benefit of basic research and drug discovery..
Smyth, L.A. & Collins, I.
(2009). Measuring and interpreting the selectivity of protein kinase inhibitors. J chem biol,
Protein kinase inhibitors are a well-established class of clinically useful drugs, particularly for the treatment of cancer. Achieving inhibitor selectivity for particular protein kinases often remains a significant challenge in the development of new small molecules as drugs or as tools for chemical biology research. This review summarises the methodologies available for measuring kinase inhibitor selectivity, both in vitro and in cells. The interpretation of kinase inhibitor selectivity data is discussed, particularly with reference to the structural biology of the protein targets. Measurement and prediction of kinase inhibitor selectivity will be important for the development of new multi-targeted kinase inhibitors..
Keown, L.E., Collins, I., Cooper, L.C., Harrison, T., Madin, A., Mistry, J., Reilly, M., Shaimi, M., Welch, C.J., Clarke, E.E., et al.
(2009). Novel orally bioavailable gamma-secretase inhibitors with excellent in vivo activity. J med chem,
The development of potent gamma-secretase inhibitors having substituted heterocycles attached to a benzobicyclo[4.2.1]nonane core is described. This work led to the identification of [6S,9R,11R]-2',3',4',5,5',6,7,8,9,10-decahydro-2-(5-(4-fluorophenyl)-1-methylpyrazol-3-yl)-5'-(2,2,2-trifluoroethyl)spiro[6,9-methanobenzocyclooctene-11,3'-[1,2,5]thiadiazole] 1',1'-dioxide (16), which has excellent in vitro potency (0.06 nM) and which reduced amyloid-beta in APP-YAC mice with an ED(50) of 1 mg/kg (po). 16 had a good pharmacokinetic profile in three preclinical species..
Matthews, T.P., Klair, S., Burns, S., Boxall, K., Cherry, M., Fisher, M., Westwood, I.M., Walton, M.I., McHardy, T., Cheung, K.M., et al.
(2009). Identification of inhibitors of checkpoint kinase 1 through template screening. J med chem,
Checkpoint kinase 1 (CHK1) is an oncology target of significant current interest. Inhibition of CHK1 abrogates DNA damage-induced cell cycle checkpoints and sensitizes p53 deficient cancer cells to genotoxic therapies. Using template screening, a fragment-based approach to small molecule hit generation, we have identified multiple CHK1 inhibitor scaffolds suitable for further optimization. The sequential combination of in silico low molecular weight template selection, a high concentration biochemical assay and hit validation through protein-ligand X-ray crystallography provided 13 template hits from an initial in silico screening library of ca. 15000 compounds. The use of appropriate counter-screening to rule out nonspecific aggregation by test compounds was essential for optimum performance of the high concentration bioassay. One low molecular weight, weakly active purine template hit was progressed by iterative structure-based design to give submicromolar pyrazolopyridines with good ligand efficiency and appropriate CHK1-mediated cellular activity in HT29 colon cancer cells..
Caldwell, J.J., Davies, T.G., Donald, A., McHardy, T., Rowlands, M.G., Aherne, G.W., Hunter, L.K., Taylor, K., Ruddle, R., Raynaud, F.I., et al.
(2008). Identification of 4-(4-aminopiperidin-1-yl)-7H-pyrrolo[2,3-d]pyrimidines as selective inhibitors of protein kinase B through fragment elaboration. J med chem,
Fragment-based screening identified 7-azaindole as a protein kinase B inhibitor scaffold. Fragment elaboration using iterative crystallography of inhibitor-PKA-PKB chimera complexes efficiently guided improvements in the potency and selectivity of the compounds, resulting in the identification of nanomolar 6-(piperidin-1-yl)purine, 4-(piperidin-1-yl)-7-azaindole, and 4-(piperidin-1-yl)pyrrolo[2,3- d]pyrimidine inhibitors of PKBbeta with antiproliferative activity and showing pathway inhibition in cells. A divergence in the binding mode was seen between 4-aminomethylpiperidine and 4-aminopiperidine containing molecules. Selectivity for PKB vs PKA was observed with 4-aminopiperidine derivatives, and the most PKB-selective inhibitor (30-fold) showed significantly different bound conformations between PKA and PKA-PKB chimera..
Brough, P.A., Aherne, W., Barril, X., Borgognoni, J., Boxall, K., Cansfield, J.E., Cheung, K.M., Collins, I., Davies, N.G., Drysdale, M.J., et al.
(2008). 4,5-diarylisoxazole Hsp90 chaperone inhibitors: potential therapeutic agents for the treatment of cancer. J med chem,
Inhibitors of the Hsp90 molecular chaperone are showing considerable promise as potential chemotherapeutic agents for cancer. Here, we describe the structure-based design, synthesis, structure-activity relationships and pharmacokinetics of potent small-molecule inhibitors of Hsp90 based on the 4,5-diarylisoxazole scaffold. Analogues from this series have high affinity for Hsp90, as measured in a fluorescence polarization (FP) competitive binding assay, and are active in cancer cell lines where they inhibit proliferation and exhibit a characteristic profile of depletion of oncogenic proteins and concomitant elevation of Hsp72. Compound 40f (VER-52296/NVP-AUY922) is potent in the Hsp90 FP binding assay (IC50 = 21 nM) and inhibits proliferation of various human cancer cell lines in vitro, with GI50 averaging 9 nM. Compound 40f is retained in tumors in vivo when administered i.p., as evaluated by cassette dosing in tumor-bearing mice. In a human colon cancer xenograft model, 40f inhibits tumor growth by approximately 50%..
Donald, A., McHardy, T., Rowlands, M.G., Hunter, L.J., Davies, T.G., Berdini, V., Boyle, R.G., Aherne, G.W., Garrett, M.D. & Collins, I., et al.
(2007). Rapid evolution of 6-phenylpurine inhibitors of protein kinase B through structure-based design. J med chem,
6-Phenylpurines were identified as novel, ATP-competitive inhibitors of protein kinase B (PKB/Akt) from a fragment-based screen and were rapidly progressed to potent compounds using iterative protein - ligand crystallography with a PKA-PKB chimeric protein. An elaborated lead compound showed cell growth inhibition and effects on cellular signaling pathways characteristic of PKB inhibition..
Collins, I. & Workman, P.
(2006). New approaches to molecular cancer therapeutics. Nat chem biol,
Cancer drug development is leading the way in exploiting molecular biological and genetic information to develop "personalized" medicine. The new paradigm is to develop agents that target the precise molecular pathology driving the progression of individual cancers. Drug developers have benefited from decades of academic cancer research and from investment in genomics, genetics and automation; their success is exemplified by high-profile drugs such as Herceptin (trastuzumab), Gleevec (imatinib), Tarceva (erlotinib) and Avastin (bevacizumab). However, only 5% of cancer drugs entering clinical trials reach marketing approval. Cancer remains a high unmet medical need, and many potential cancer targets remain undrugged. In this review we assess the status of the discovery and development of small-molecule cancer therapeutics. We show how chemical biology approaches offer techniques for interconnecting elements of the traditional linear progression from gene to drug, thereby providing a basis for increasing speed and success in cancer drug discovery..
Collins, I., Caldwell, J., Fonseca, T., Donald, A., Bavetsias, V., Hunter, L.J., Garrett, M.D., Rowlands, M.G., Aherne, G.W., Davies, T.G., et al.
(2006). Structure-based design of isoquinoline-5-sulfonamide inhibitors of protein kinase B. Bioorg med chem,
Structure-based drug design of novel isoquinoline-5-sulfonamide inhibitors of PKB as potential antitumour agents was investigated. Constrained pyrrolidine analogues that mimicked the bound conformation of linear prototypes were identified and investigated by co-crystal structure determinations with the related protein PKA. Detailed variation in the binding modes between inhibitors with similar overall conformations was observed. Potent PKB inhibitors from this series inhibited GSK3beta phosphorylation in cellular assays, consistent with inhibition of PKB kinase activity in cells..
Collins, I., Moyes, C., Davey, W.B., Rowley, M., Bromidge, F.A., Quirk, K., Atack, J.R., McKernan, R.M., Thompson, S.A., Wafford, K., et al.
(2002). 3-Heteroaryl-2-pyridones: benzodiazepine site ligands with functional delectivity for alpha 2/alpha 3-subtypes of human GABA(A) receptor-ion channels. J med chem,
A novel series of 3-heteroaryl-5,6-bis(aryl)-1-methyl-2-pyridones were developed with high affinity for the benzodiazepine (BZ) binding site of human gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA(A)) receptor ion channels, low binding selectivity for alpha 2- and/or alpha 3- over alpha 1-containing GABA(A) receptor subtypes and high binding selectivity over alpha 5 subtypes. High affinity appeared to be associated with a coplanar conformation of the pyridone and sulfur-containing 3-heteroaryl rings resulting from an attractive S.O intramolecular interaction. Functional selectivity (i.e., selective efficacy) for alpha 2 and/or alpha 3 GABA(A) receptor subtypes over alpha1 was observed in several of these compounds in electrophysiological assays. Furthermore, an alpha 3 subtype selective inverse agonist was proconvulsant and anxiogenic in rodents while an alpha 2/alpha 3 subtype selective partial agonist was anticonvulsant and anxiolytic, supporting the hypothesis that subtype selective BZ site agonists may provide new anxiolytic therapies..