Discovery of 7-Methyl-5-(1-{[3-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl]acetyl}-2,3-dihydro-1H-indol-5 -yl)-7H-pyrrolo[2,3-d]pyrimidin-4-amine (GSK2606414), a Potent and Selective First-in-Class Inhibitor of Protein Kinase R (PKR)-like Endoplasmic Reticulum Kinase (PERK)

Oncology Research, Protein Dynamics DPU, GlaxoSmithKline Research and Development, Collegeville, Pennsylvania 19426, United States.
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry (Impact Factor: 5.48). 07/2012; 55(16):7193-207. DOI: 10.1021/jm300713s
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Protein kinase R (PKR)-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK) is activated in response to a variety of endoplasmic reticulum stresses implicated in numerous disease states. Evidence that PERK is implicated in tumorigenesis and cancer cell survival stimulated our search for small molecule inhibitors. Through screening and lead optimization using the human PERK crystal structure, we discovered compound 38 (GSK2606414), an orally available, potent, and selective PERK inhibitor. Compound 38 inhibits PERK activation in cells and inhibits the growth of a human tumor xenograft in mice.

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    ABSTRACT: The unfolded protein response (UPR) is activated in response to hypoxia-induced stress in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and consists of three distinct signaling arms. Here we explore the potential of targeting two of these arms with new potent small-molecule inhibitors designed against IRE1α and PERK. We utilized shRNAs and small-molecule inhibitors of IRE1α (4μ8c) and PERK (GSK-compound 39). XBP1 splicing and DNAJB9 mRNA was measured by qPCR and was used to monitor IRE1α activity. PERK activity was monitored by immunoblotting eIF2α phosphorylation and qPCR of DDIT3 mRNA. Hypoxia tolerance was measured using proliferation and clonogenic cell survival assays of cells exposed to mild or severe hypoxia in the presence of the inhibitors. Using knockdown experiments we show that PERK is essential for survival of KP4 cells while knockdown of IRE1α dramatically decreases the proliferation and survival of HCT116 during hypoxia. Further, we show that in response to both hypoxia and other ER stress-inducing agents both 4μ8c and the PERK inhibitor are selective and potent inhibitors of IRE1α and PERK activation, respectively. However, despite potent inhibition of IRE1α activation, 4μ8c had no effect on cell proliferation or clonogenic survival of cells exposed to hypoxia. This was in contrast to the inactivation of PERK signaling with the PERK inhibitor, which reduced tolerance to hypoxia and other ER stress inducing agents. Our results demonstrate that IRE1α but not its splicing activity is important for hypoxic cell survival. The PERK signaling arm is uniquely important for promoting adaptation and survival during hypoxia-induced ER stress and should be the focus of future therapeutic efforts.
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    ABSTRACT: Phosphorylation of the α-subunit of initiation factor 2 (eIF2) controls protein synthesis by a conserved mechanism. In metazoa, distinct stress conditions activate different eIF2α kinases (PERK, PKR, GCN2, and HRI) that converge on phosphorylating a unique serine in eIF2α. This collection of signaling pathways is termed the 'integrated stress response' (ISR). eIF2α phosphorylation diminishes protein synthesis, while allowing preferential translation of some mRNAs. Starting with a cell-based screen for inhibitors of PERK signaling, we identified a small molecule, named ISRIB, that potently (IC50 = 5 nM) reverses the effects of eIF2α phosphorylation. ISRIB reduces the viability of cells subjected to PERK-activation by chronic endoplasmic reticulum stress. eIF2α phosphorylation is implicated in memory consolidation. Remarkably, ISRIB-treated mice display significant enhancement in spatial and fear-associated learning. Thus, memory consolidation is inherently limited by the ISR, and ISRIB releases this brake. As such, ISRIB promises to contribute to our understanding and treatment of cognitive disorders. DOI:
    eLife Sciences 05/2013; 2:e00498. DOI:10.7554/eLife.00498 · 8.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Endoplasmic reticulum stress plays a critical role to restore the homeostasis of protein production in eukaryotic cells. This vital process is hence involved in many types of diseases including COPD. PERK, one branch in the ER stress signaling pathways, has been reported to activate NRF2 signaling pathway, a known protective response to COPD. Based on this scientific rationale, we aimed to identify PERK activators as a mechanism to achieve NRF2 activation. In this report, we describe a phenotypic screening assay to identify PERK activators. This assay measures phosphorylation of GFP-tagged eIF2α upon PERK activation via a cell-based LanthaScreen technology. To obtain a robust assay with sufficient signal to background and low variation, multiple parameters were optimized including GFP-tagged eIF2α BacMam concentration, cell density and serum concentration. The assay was validated by a tool compound, Thapsigargin, which induces phosphorylation of eIF2α. In our assay, this compound showed maximal signal window of approximately 2.5-fold with a pEC50 of 8.0, consistent with literature reports. To identify novel PERK activators through phosphorylation of eIF2α, a focused set of 8,400 compounds was screened in this assay at 10 µM. A number of hits were identified and validated. The molecular mechanisms for several selected hits were further characterized in terms of PERK activation and effects on PERK downstream components. Specificity of these compounds in activating PERK was demonstrated with a PERK specific inhibitor and in PERK knockout mouse embryonic fibroblast (MEF) cells. In addition, these hits showed NRF2-dependent anti-oxidant gene induction. In summary, our phenotypic screening assay is demonstrated to be able to identify PERK specific activators. The identified PERK activators could potentially be used as chemical probes to further investigate this pathway as well as the link between PERK activation and NRF2 pathway activation.
    PLoS ONE 03/2015; 10(3):e0119738. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0119738 · 3.53 Impact Factor