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.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Phosphorylation of the α subunit of the translation initiation factor eIF2 at serine 51 (eIF2αP) is a master regulator of cell adaptation to various forms of stress with implications in antitumor treatments with chemotherapeutic drugs. Herein, we demonstrate that genetic loss of the eIF2α kinases PERK and GCN2 or impaired eIF2αP by genetic means renders immortalized mouse fibroblasts as well as human tumor cells increasingly susceptible to death by oxidative stress. We also show that eIF2αP facilitates Akt activation in cells subjected to oxidative insults. However, whereas Akt activation has a pro-survival role in eIF2αP-proficient cells, the lesser amount of activated Akt in eIF2αP-deficient cells promotes death. At the molecular level, we demonstrate that eIF2αP acts through an ATF4-independent mechanism to control Akt activity via the regulation of mTORC1. Specifically, eIF2αP downregulates mTORC1 activity, which in turn relieves the feedback inhibition of PI3K resulting in the upregulation of the mTORC2-Akt arm. Inhibition of mTORC1 by rapamycin restores Akt activity in eIF2αP-deficient cells but renders them highly susceptible to Akt-mediated death by oxidative stress. Our data demonstrate that eIF2αP acts as a molecular switch that dictates either cell survival or death by activated Akt in response to oxidative stress. Hence, we propose that inactivation of eIF2αP may be a suitable approach to unleash the killing power of Akt in tumor cells treated with pro-oxidant drugs.
    Cell Death & Disease 01/2015; 6(1):e1591. DOI:10.1038/cddis.2014.554 · 5.18 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Previously, we identified ISRIB as a potent inhibitor of the integrated stress response (ISR) and showed that ISRIB makes cells resistant to the effects of eIF2α phosphorylation and enhances long-term memory in rodents (Sidrauski et al., 2013). Here, we show by genome-wide in vivo ribosome profiling that translation of a restricted subset of mRNAs is induced upon ISR activation. ISRIB substantially reversed the translational effects elicited by phosphorylation of eIF2α and induced no major changes in translation or mRNA levels in unstressed cells. eIF2α phosphorylation-induced stress granule (SG) formation was blocked by ISRIB. Strikingly, ISRIB addition to stressed cells with pre-formed SGs induced their rapid disassembly, liberating mRNAs into the actively translating pool. Restoration of mRNA translation and modulation of SG dynamics may be an effective treatment of neurodegenerative diseases characterized by eIF2α phosphorylation, SG formation, and cognitive loss. DOI:
    eLife Sciences 02/2015; 4. DOI:10.7554/eLife.05033 · 8.52 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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 10(3):e0119738. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0119738 · 3.53 Impact Factor