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European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
New bioisosteric sulphur-containing choline kinase inhibitors with a tracked mode of action
Pilar M Luque-Navarro, M Paz Carrasco-Jiménez, Laura Goracci, Jose M Paredes, Laura Espinar-Barranco, Javier Valverde-Pozo, Archimede Torretta, Emilio Parisini, Elena Mariotto, Chiara Marchioro, Alejandro Laso, Carmen Marco, Giampietro Viola, Daniela Lanari, Luisa Carlota López Cara
Antitumoral drug, Choline kinase inhibition, Bioisosterism, Environmental synthesis
Since the identification of human choline kinase as a protein target against cancer progression, many compounds have been designed to inhibit its function and reduce the biosynthesis of phosphatidylcholine. Herein, we propose a series of bioisosteric inhibitors that are based on the introduction of sulphur and feature improved activity and lipophilic/hydrophilic balance. The evaluation of the inhibitory and of the antiproliferative properties of the PL (dithioethane) and FP (disulphide) libraries led to the identification of PL 48, PL 55 and PL 69 as the most active compounds of the series. Docking analysis using FLAP suggests that for hits to leads, binding mostly involves an interaction with the Mg2+ cofactor, or its destabilization. The most active compounds of the two series are capable of inducing apoptosis following the mitochondrial pathway and to significantly reduce the expression of anti-apoptotic proteins such as the Mcl-1. The fluorescence properties of the compounds of the PL library allowed the tracking of their mode of action, while PAINS (Pan Assays Interference Structures) filtration databases suggest the lack of any unspecific biological response.