Discovery of Potent Myeloid Cell Leukemia 1 (Mcl-1) Inhibitors Using Fragment-Based Methods and Structure-Based Design
ABSTRACT Myeloid cell leukemia 1 (Mcl-1), a member of the Bcl-2 family of proteins, is overexpressed and amplified in various cancers and promotes the aberrant survival of tumor cells that otherwise would undergo apoptosis. Here we describe the discovery of potent and selective Mcl-1 inhibitors using fragment-based methods and structure-based design. NMR-based screening of a large fragment library identified two chemically distinct hit series that bind to different sites on Mcl-1. Members of the two fragment classes were merged together to produce lead compounds that bind to Mcl-1 with a dissociation constant of <100 nM with selectivity for Mcl-1 over Bcl-xL and Bcl-2. Structures of merged compounds when complexed to Mcl-1 were obtained by X-ray crystallography and provide detailed information about the molecular recognition of small-molecule ligands binding Mcl-1. The compounds represent starting points for the discovery of clinically useful Mcl-1 inhibitors for the treatment of a wide variety of cancers.
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ABSTRACT: In order to identify targets whose inhibition may enhance the efficacy of chemoradiation in pancreatic cancer, we previously conducted an RNAi library screen of 8,800 genes. We identified Mcl-1 (myeloid cell leukemia-1), an anti-apoptotic member of the Bcl-2 family, as a target for sensitizing pancreatic cancer cells to chemoradiation. In the present study we investigated Mcl-1 inhibition by either genetic or pharmacological approaches as a radiosensitizing strategy in pancreatic cancer cells. Mcl-1 depletion by siRNA produced significant radiosensitization in BxPC-3 and Panc-1 cells in association with Caspase-3 activation and PARP cleavage, but only minimal radiosensitization in MiaPaCa-2 cells. We next tested the ability of the recently identified, selective, small molecule inhibitor of Mcl-1, UMI77, to radiosensitize in pancreatic cancer cells. UMI77 caused dissociation of Mcl-1 from the pro-apoptotic protein Bak and produced significant radiosensitization in BxPC-3 and Panc-1 cells, but minimal radiosensitization in MiaPaCa-2 cells. Radiosensitization by UMI77 was associated with Caspase-3 activation and PARP cleavage. Importantly, UMI77 did not radiosensitize normal small intestinal cells. In contrast, ABT-737, an established inhibitor of Bcl-2, Bcl-XL, and Bcl-w, failed to radiosensitize pancreatic cancer cells suggesting the unique importance of Mcl-1 relative to other Bcl-2 family members to radiation survival in pancreatic cancer cells. Taken together, these results validate Mcl-1 as a target for radiosensitization of pancreatic cancer cells and demonstrate the ability of small molecules which bind the canonical BH3 groove of Mcl-1, causing displacement of Mcl-1 from Bak, to selectively radiosensitize pancreatic cancer cells. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.Translational oncology 02/2015; 8(1):47-54. DOI:10.1016/j.tranon.2014.12.004 · 3.40 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The BCL-2 protein family determines the commitment of cells to apoptosis, an ancient cell suicide programme that is essential for development, tissue homeostasis and immunity. Too little apoptosis can promote cancer and autoimmune diseases; too much apoptosis can augment ischaemic conditions and drive neurodegeneration. We discuss the biochemical, structural and genetic studies that have clarified how the interplay between members of the BCL-2 family on mitochondria sets the apoptotic threshold. These mechanistic insights into the functions of the BCL-2 family are illuminating the physiological control of apoptosis, the pathological consequences of its dysregulation and the promising search for novel cancer therapies that target the BCL-2 family.Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology 12/2013; 15(1):49-63. DOI:10.1038/nrm3722 · 36.46 Impact Factor
- Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 12/2012; 56(1). DOI:10.1021/jm301837n · 5.48 Impact Factor