[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Multiple farnesylated proteins are involved in signal transduction in cancer. Farnesyltransferase inhibitors (FTIs) have been developed as a strategy to inhibit the function of these proteins. As FTIs inhibit proliferation of melanoma cell lines, we undertook a study to assess the impact of a FTI in advanced melanoma. As farnesylated proteins are also important for T cell activation, measurement of effects on T cell function was also pursued. METHODS: A 3-stage trial design was developed with a maximum of 40 patients and early stopping if there were no responders in the first 14, or fewer than 2 responders in the first 28 patients. Eligibility included performance status of 0--1, no prior chemotherapy, at most 1 prior immunotherapy, no brain metastases, and presence of at least 2 cutaneous lesions amenable to biopsy. R115777 was administered twice per day for 21 days of a 28-day cycle. Patients were evaluated every 2 cycles by RECIST. Blood and tumor were analyzed pre-treatment and during week 7. RESULTS: Fourteen patients were enrolled. Two patients had grade 3 toxicities, which included myelosuppression, nausea/vomiting, elevated BUN, and anorexia. There were no clinical responses. All patients analyzed showed potent inhibition of FT activity (85-98%) in tumor tissue; inhibition of phosphorylated ERK and Akt was also observed. T cells showed evidence of FT inhibition and diminished IFN-gamma production. CONCLUSIONS: Despite potent target inhibition, R115777 showed no evidence of clinical activity in this cohort of melanoma patients. Inhibition of T cell function by FTIs has potential clinical implications.Clinicaltrials.gov number NCT00060125.
Journal of Translational Medicine 12/2012; 10(1):246. · 3.46 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A potent class of anticancer, human farnesyltransferase (hFTase) inhibitors has been identified by "piggy-backing" on potent, antimalarial inhibitors of Plasmodium falciparum farnesyltransferase (PfFTase). On the basis of a 4-fold substituted ethylenediamine scaffold, the inhibitors are structurally simple and readily derivatized, facilitating the extensive structure-activity relationship (SAR) study reported herein. Our most potent inhibitor is compound 1f, which exhibited an in vitro hFTase IC(50) value of 25 nM and a whole cell H-Ras processing IC(50) value of 90 nM. Moreover, it is noteworthy that several of our inhibitors proved highly selective for hFTase (up to 333-fold) over the related prenyltransferase enzyme geranylgeranyltransferase-I (GGTase-I). A crystal structure of inhibitor 1a co-crystallized with farnesyl pyrophosphate (FPP) in the active site of rat FTase illustrates that the para-benzonitrile moiety of 1a is stabilized by a π-π stacking interaction with the Y361β residue, suggesting a structural explanation for the observed importance of this component of our inhibitors.
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 10/2010; 53(19):6867-88. · 5.61 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We describe the design of a potent and selective peptidomimetic inhibitor of geranylgeranyltransferase I (GGTI), GGTI-2418, and its methyl ester GGTI-2417, which increases the levels of the cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk) inhibitor p27(Kip1) and induces breast tumor regression in vivo. Experiments with p27(Kip1) small interfering RNA in breast cancer cells and p27(Kip1) null murine embryonic fibroblasts demonstrate that the ability of GGTI-2417 to induce cell death requires p27(Kip1). GGTI-2417 inhibits the Cdk2-mediated phosphorylation of p27(Kip1) at Thr187 and accumulates p27(Kip1) in the nucleus. In nude mouse xenografts, GGTI-2418 suppresses the growth of human breast tumors. Furthermore, in ErbB2 transgenic mice, GGTI-2418 increases p27(Kip1) and induces significant regression of breast tumors. We conclude that GGTIs' antitumor activity is, at least in part, due to inhibiting Cdk2-dependent p27(Kip1) phosphorylation at Thr187 and accumulating nuclear p27(Kip1). Thus, GGTI treatment might improve the poor prognosis of breast cancer patients with low nuclear p27(Kip1) levels.
Molecular and cellular biology 03/2009; 29(8):2254-63. · 6.06 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A series of compounds based on the carboxyl-terminal CAAL sequence of PGGTase-I substrates was designed and synthesized. Using piperazin-2-one as a semi-rigid scaffold, we have introduced critical pharmacophores in a well-defined arrangement to mimic the CAAL sequence. High potency and exceptional selectivity were obtained for inhibition of PGGTase-I with structures such as 45 and 70. Potency of this series of GGTIs was dependent on the presence of an L-leucine residue with a free carboxyl terminus, as well as an S configuration of the 3-aryl group. The selectivity was significantly enhanced by 5-methyl substitution on the imidazole ring and fluorine substitution on the 3-aryl group. Modification of the 6-position of the piperazinone scaffold was found to be unfavorable. Compounds 44 and 69, the corresponding methyl esters of 45 and 70, were found to selectively block processing of Rap1A by PGGTase-I in whole cells with IC(50) values of 0.4 microM and 0.7 microM respectively.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A series of imidazole-containing peptidomimetic PFTase inhibitors and their co-crystal structures bound to PFTase and FPP are reported. The structures reveal that the peptidomimetics adopt a similar conformation to that of the extended CVIM tetrapeptide, with the imidazole group coordinating to the catalytic zinc ion. Both mono- and bis-imidazole-containing derivatives, 13 and 16, showed remarkably high enzyme inhibition activity against PFTase in vitro with IC50 values of 0.86 and 1.7 nM, respectively. The peptidomimetics were also highly selective for PFTase over PGGTase-I both in vitro and in intact cells. In addition, peptidomimetics and were found to suppress tumor growth in nude mouse xenograft models with no gross toxicity at a daily dose of 25 mg kg(-1).
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A series of novel protein geranylgeranyltransferase-I (PGGTase-I) inhibitors based on a benzoyleneurea scaffold has been synthesized. Using a benzoyleneurea scaffold as a mimetic for the central dipeptide (AA), we have developed CAAX peptidomimetic inhibitors that selectively block the activity of PGGTase-I over the closely related enzyme protein farnesyltransferase. In this new class of PGGTase-I inhibitors, compound (6c) with X=L-phenylalanine, displayed the highest inhibition activity against PGGTase-I with an IC50 value of 170 nM. The inhibitors described in this study represent novel and promising leads for the development of potent and selective inhibitors of mammalian PGGTase-I for potential application as antitumor agents.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A series of protein farnesyltransferase inhibitor ester prodrugs of FTI-2148 (17) were synthesized in order to evaluate the effects of ester structure modification on antimalarial activity and for further development of a farnesyltransferase inhibitor with in vivo activity. Evaluation against P. falciparum in red blood cells showed that all the investigated esters exhibited significant antimalarial activity, with the benzyl ester 16 showing the best inhibition (ED50=150 nM). Additionally, compound 16 displayed in vivo activity and was found to suppress parasitemia by 46.1% at a dose of 50 mg kg(-1) day(-1) against Plasmodium berghei in mice. The enhanced inhibition potency of the esters is consistent with improved cell membrane permeability compared to that of the free acid. The results of this study suggest that protein farnesyltransferase is a valid antimalarial drug target and that the antimalarial activity of these compounds derives from a balance between the hydrophobic character and the size and conformation of the ester moiety.