Amino Acid Conjugates of Lithocholic Acid As Antagonists of the EphA2 Receptor

Journal of Medicinal Chemistry (Impact Factor: 5.48). 03/2013; 56(7). DOI: 10.1021/jm301890k
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The Eph receptor-ephrin system is an emerging target for the development of novel antiangiogenetic agents. We recently identified lithocholic acid (LCA) as a small molecule able to block EphA2-dependent signals in cancer cells, suggesting that its (5β)-cholan-24-oic acid scaffold can be used as a template to design a new generation of improved EphA2 antagonists. Here, we report the design and synthesis of an extended set of LCA derivatives obtained by conjugation of its carboxyl group with different α-amino acids. Structure-activity relationships indicate that the presence of a lipophilic amino acid side chain is fundamental to achieve good potencies. The L-Trp derivative (20, PCM126) was the most potent antagonist of the series disrupting EphA2-ephrinA1 interaction and blocking EphA2 phosphorylation in prostate cancer cells at low μM concentrations, thus being significantly more potent than LCA. Compound 20 is among the most potent small molecule antagonists of the EphA2 receptor.

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    ABSTRACT: EphrinA1-EphA-receptor signaling is protective during myocardial infarction (MI). The EphA2-receptor (EphA2-R) potentially mediates cardiomyocyte survival. To determine the role of the EphA2-R in acute non-reperfused myocardial injury in vivo, infarct size, inflammatory cell density, NF-κB, p-AKT/Akt, and MMP-2 protein levels, and changes in ephrinA1/EphA2-R gene expression profile were assessed 4 days post-MI in B6129 wild-type (WT) and EphA2-R-mutant (EphA2-R-M) mice lacking a functional EphA2-R. Fibrosis, capillary density, morphometry of left ventricular chamber and infarct dimensions, and cardiac function also were measured 4 weeks post-MI to determine the extent of ventricular remodeling. EphA2-R-M infarct size and area of residual necrosis were 31.7% and 113% greater than WT hearts, respectively. Neutrophil and macrophage infiltration were increased by 46% and 84% in EphA2-R-M hearts compared with WT, respectively. NF-κB protein expression was 1.9-fold greater in EphA2-R-M hearts at baseline and 56% less NF-κB after infarction compared with WT. EphA6 gene expression was 2.5-fold higher at baseline and increased 9.8-fold 4 days post-MI in EphA2-R-M hearts compared with WT. EphrinA1 gene expression in EphA2-R-M hearts was unchanged at baseline and decreased by 42% 4 days post-MI compared with WT hearts. EphA2-R-M hearts had 66.7% less expression of total Akt protein and 59% less p-Akt protein than WT hearts post-MI. EphA2-R-M hearts 4 weeks post-MI had increased chamber dilation and interstitial fibrosis and decreased MMP-2 expression and capillary density compared with WT. In conclusion, the EphA2-R is necessary to appropriately modulate the inflammatory response and severity of early injury during acute MI, thereby influencing the progression of ischemic cardiomyopathy.
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Jul 15, 2014