Jürgen Mestan

Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

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Publications (47)317.84 Total impact

  • Cancer Research 08/2015; 75(15 Supplement):2664-2664. DOI:10.1158/1538-7445.AM2015-2664 · 9.33 Impact Factor
  • Cancer Research 08/2015; 75(15 Supplement):4514-4514. DOI:10.1158/1538-7445.AM2015-4514 · 9.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Binding of tyrosine kinase inhibitors such as imatinib was shown to induce a novel open-inhibited conformation of BCR-ABL, in which Tyr245 is exposed and prone to phosphorylation. In order to evaluate whether this leads to priming of the kinase in cellular systems, we probed activation of downstream signaling as a result of Tyr245 phosphorylation in a series of cellular washout experiments. While a spike in Tyr245 phosphorylation was observed both in overexpression and endogenous settings, no induction of downstream signaling was detected, showing that the priming hypothesis is not relevant for the therapeutic situation. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    European Journal Of Haematology 07/2015; DOI:10.1111/ejh.12627 · 2.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Successful treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia is based on inhibitors binding to the ATP site of the deregulated breakpoint cluster region (Bcr)-Abelson tyrosine kinase (Abl) fusion protein. Recently, a new type of allosteric inhibitors targeting the Abl myristoyl pocket was shown in preclinical studies to overcome ATP-site inhibitor resistance arising in some patients. Using NMR and small-angle X-ray scattering, we have analyzed the solution conformations of apo Abelson tyrosine kinase (c-Abl) and c-Abl complexes with ATP-site and allosteric inhibitors. Binding of the ATP-site inhibitor imatinib leads to an unexpected open conformation of the multidomain SH3-SH2-kinase c-Abl core, whose relevance is confirmed by cellular assays on Bcr-Abl. The combination of imatinib with the allosteric inhibitor GNF-5 restores the closed, inactivated state. Our data provide detailed insights on the poorly understood combined effect of the two inhibitor types, which is able to overcome drug resistance.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 11/2013; 110(47). DOI:10.1073/pnas.1314712110 · 9.67 Impact Factor
  • Cancer Research 08/2013; 73(8 Supplement):1620-1620. DOI:10.1158/1538-7445.AM2013-1620 · 9.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There has recently been a burgeoning interest in impeding drug metabolism by replacing hydrogen atoms with deuterium to invoke a kinetic isotope effect. Imatinib, a front-line therapy for both chronic myeloid leukemia and of gastrointestinal stromal tumours, is often substantially metabolised via N-demethylation to the significantly less active CGP74588. Since deuterium-carbon bonds are stronger than hydrogen-carbon bonds, we hypothesised that the N-trideuteromethyl analogue of imatinib might be subject to a reduced metabolic turnover as compared to imatinib and lead to different pharmacokinetic properties, and hence improved efficacy, in vivo. Consequently, we investigated whether the N-trideuteromethyl analogue would maintain target inhibition and show a reduced propensity for N-demethylation in in vitro assays with liver microsomes and following oral administration to rats. The N-trideuteromethyl compound exhibited similar activity as a tyrosine kinase inhibitor as imatinib and similar efficacy as an antiproliferative in cellular assays. In comparison to imatinib, the trideuterated analogue also showed reduced N-demethylation upon incubation with both rat and human liver microsomes, consistent with a deuterium isotope effect. However, the reduced in vitro metabolism did not translate into increased exposure of the N-trideuteromethyl analogue following intravenous administration of the compound to rats and no significant difference was observed for the formation of the N-desmethyl metabolite from either parent drug.
    Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry 04/2013; 21(11). DOI:10.1016/j.bmc.2013.03.038 · 2.79 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: iNKT cells are a unique T cell subset, which is CD1d-restricted and specific for glycolipid antigens. In advanced atherosclerotic plaques, focal collections of inflammatory cells correlate with areas of intraplaque neovascularization. We reported recently that iNKT cells might facilitate intraplaque neovascularization by enhancing EC migration and sprouting in an IL-8-dependent manner. This study investigated the participating effector mechanisms. In ECs, CM, derived from antigen-stimulated human iNKT cells (CM+), induced up-regulation of IL-8R CXCR2 and the phosphorylation of EGFR and of multiple intracellular signaling effectors, including FAK, Src, Erk, Jnk, p38-MAPK, and STAT1 and -3. We found that a cascade of events, which were IL-8-dependent and involved EGFR activation, was responsible for signaling through FAK and Src kinases and necessary for acquisition of angiogenic morphology, migration in a two-dimensional wound assay, and sprout outgrowth in a three-dimensional model of angiogenesis in vitro. The data support that IL-8-dependent activation of angiogenic behavior in ECs, in response to activated iNKT, involves CXCR2, transactivation of EGFR, and subsequent FAK/Src signaling. We found too that activated iNKT increased VEGFR2 expression in ECs. Functional studies confirmed that EGF is the motogenic-enhancing factor in CM+ and is necessary, together with an exogenous source of VEGF, for iNKT-promoted sprout formation. EGFR inhibition may represent a novel therapeutic modality aimed at plaque stabilization through control of neovascularization within developing atherosclerotic plaques.
    Journal of leukocyte biology 08/2011; 90(5):929-39. DOI:10.1189/jlb.0211097 · 4.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: ChemInform is a weekly Abstracting Service, delivering concise information at a glance that was extracted from about 100 leading journals. To access a ChemInform Abstract of an article which was published elsewhere, please select a “Full Text” option. The original article is trackable via the “References” option.
    ChemInform 11/2010; 27(48). DOI:10.1002/chin.199648213
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    ABSTRACT: Although orphan drug applications required by the EMEA must include assessments of similarity to pre-existing products, these can be difficult to quantify. Here we illustrate a paradigm in comparing nilotinib to the prototype kinase inhibitor imatinib, and equate the degree of structural similarity to differences in properties. Nilotinib was discovered following re-engineering of imatinib, employing structural biology and medicinal chemistry strategies to optimise cellular potency and selectivity towards BCR-ABL1. Through evolving only to conserve these properties, this resulted in significant structural differences between nilotinib and imatinib, quantified by a Daylight-fingerprint-Tanimoto similarity coefficient of 0.6, with the meaning of this absolute measure being supported by an analysis of similarity distributions of similar drug-like molecules. This dissimilarity is reflected in the drugs having substantially different preclinical pharmacology and a lack of cross-intolerance in CML patients, which translates into nilotinib being an efficacious treatment for CML, with a favourable side-effect profile.
    Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry 10/2010; 18(19):6977-86. DOI:10.1016/j.bmc.2010.08.026 · 2.79 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The second generation of Bcr-Abl inhibitors nilotinib, dasatinib, and bosutinib developed to override imatinib resistance are not active against the T315I "gatekeeper" mutation. Here we describe a type-II T315I inhibitor 2 (GNF-7), based upon a 3,4-dihydropyrimido[4,5-d]pyrimidin-2(1H)-one scaffold which is capable of potently inhibiting wild-type and T315I Bcr-Abl as well as other clinically relevant Bcr-Abl mutants such as G250E, Q252H, Y253H, E255K, E255V, F317L, and M351T in biochemical and cellular assays. In addition, compound 2 displayed significant in vivo efficacy against T315I-Bcr-Abl without appreciable toxicity in a bioluminescent xenograft mouse model using a transformed T315I-Bcr-Abl-Ba/F3 cell line that has a stable luciferase expression. Compound 2 is among the first type-II inhibitors capable of inhibiting T315I to be described and will serve as a valuable lead to design the third generation Bcr-Abl kinase inhibitors.
    Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 08/2010; 53(15):5439-48. DOI:10.1021/jm901808w · 5.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Allosteric inhibitors of Bcr-Abl have emerged as a novel therapeutic option for the treatment of CML. Using fragment-based screening, a search for novel Abl inhibitors that bind to the myristate pocket was carried out. Here we show that not all myristate ligands are functional inhibitors, but that the conformational state of C-terminal helix_I is a structural determinant for functional activity. We present an NMR-based conformational assay to monitor the conformation of this crucial helix_I and show that myristate ligands that bend helix_I are functional antagonists, whereas ligands that bind to the myristate pocket but do not induce this conformational change are kinase agonists. Activation of c-Abl by allosteric agonists has been confirmed in a biochemical assay.
    Journal of the American Chemical Society 05/2010; 132(20):7043-8. DOI:10.1021/ja101837n · 12.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The ATP-competitive inhibitors dasatinib and nilotinib, which bind to catalytically different conformations of the Abl kinase domain, have recently been approved for the treatment of imatinib-resistant CML. These two new drugs, albeit very efficient against most of the imatinib-resistant mutants of Bcr-Abl, fail to effectively suppress the Bcr-Abl activity of the T315I (or gatekeeper) mutation. Generating new ATP site-binding drugs that target the T315I in Abl has been hampered, amongst others, by target selectivity, which is frequently an issue when developing ATP-competitive inhibitors. Recently, using an unbiased cellular screening approach, GNF-2, a non-ATP-competitive inhibitor, has been identified that demonstrates cellular activity against Bcr-Abl transformed cells. The exquisite selectivity of GNF-2 is due to the finding that it targets the myristate binding site located near the C-terminus of the Abl kinase domain, as demonstrated by genetic approaches, solution NMR and X-ray crystallography. GNF-2, like myristate, is able to induce and/or stabilize the clamped inactive conformation of Abl analogous to the SH2-Y527 interaction of Src. The molecular mechanism for allosteric inhibition by the GNF-2 inhibitor class, and the combined effects with ATP-competitive inhibitors such as nilotinib and imatinib on wild-type Abl and imatinib-resistant mutants, in particular the T315I gatekeeper mutant, are reviewed.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 03/2010; 1804(3):454-62. DOI:10.1016/j.bbapap.2009.12.009 · 4.66 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Clinical Oncology 03/2010; 28(11):e169-71; author reply e172. DOI:10.1200/JCO.2009.26.4945 · 18.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: As a drug used to treat imatinib-resistant and -intolerant, chronic and advanced phase chronic myelogenous leukaemia, nilotinib is well characterised as a potent inhibitor of the Abl tyrosine kinase activity of wild-type and imatinib-resistant mutant forms of BCR-Abl. Here we review the profile of nilotinib as a protein kinase inhibitor. Although an ATP-competitive inhibitor of Abl, nilotinib binds to a catalytically inactive conformation (DFG-out) of the activation loop. As a consequence of this, nilotinib exhibits time-dependent inhibition of Abl kinase in enzymatic assays, which can be extrapolated to other targets to explain differences between biochemical activity and cellular assays. Although these differences confound assessment of kinase selectivity, as assessed using a combination of protein binding and transphosphorylation assays, together with cellular autophosporylation and proliferation assays, well established kinase targets of nilotinib in rank order of inhibitory potency are DDR-1>DDR-2>BCR-Abl (Abl)>PDGFRalpha/beta>KIT>CSF-1R. In addition nilotinib has now been found to bind to both MAPK11 (p38beta) and MAPK12 (p38alpha), as well as with very high affinity to ZAK kinase. Although neither enzymatic nor cellular data are yet available to substantiate the drug as an inhibitor of ZAK phosphorylation, modeling predicts that it binds in an ATP-competitive fashion.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 11/2009; 1804(3):445-53. DOI:10.1016/j.bbapap.2009.11.008 · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Controlling aberrant protein kinase activity is a promising strategy for a variety of diseases, particularly cancer. Hence, the development of kinase inhibitors is currently a focal point for pharmaceutical research. In this study we utilize a chip-based reverse phase protein array (RPA) platform for profiling of kinase inhibitors in cell-based assays. In combination with the planar wave-guide technology the assay system has an absolute LOD down to the low zeptomole range. A431 cell lysates were analyzed for the activation state of key effectors in the epidermal growth factor (EGF) and insulin signaling pathways to validate this model for compound screening. A microtiter-plate format for growing, treating, and lysing cells was shown to be suitable for this approach, establishing the value of the technology as a screening tool for characterization of large numbers of kinase inhibitors against a wide variety of cellular signaling pathways. Moreover, the reverse array format allows rapid development of site-specific phosphorylation assays, since in contrast to ELISA type systems only a single antigen-specific antibody is required.
    PROTEOMICS - CLINICAL APPLICATIONS 04/2009; 3(4):412 - 422. DOI:10.1002/prca.200800070 · 2.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Patients with advanced stages of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) often manifest imatinib mesylate resistance associated with point mutations in BCR-ABL. AMN107 is a new higher-potency inhibitor of BCR-ABL. To identify mutations in BCR-ABL that could result in resistance to AMN107, a cDNA library of BCR-ABL mutants was introduced into Ba/F3 cells followed by selection in AMN107 (0.125-0.5 microM). A total of 86 individual, drug-resistant colonies were recovered, and the SH3, SH2, and kinase domains of BCR-ABL were sequenced. A total of 46 colonies had single point mutations in BCR-ABL, with a total of 17 different mutations, all within the kinase domain. The other 40 colonies had multiple point mutations and were not analyzed further. Each of the 17 single point mutants were reconstructed by site-directed mutagenesis of native BCR-ABL and found to be approximately 2.5- to 800-fold more resistant to AMN107 than native BCR-ABL. The mutations included 6 known imatinib mesylate-resistant mutations, including T315I, which showed complete resistance to AMN107. Interestingly, most AMN107-resistant mutants were also resistant to imatinib mesylate. These results may predict some of the resistance mutations that will be detected in clinical trials with this kinase inhibitor.
    Blood 07/2007; 109(11):5011-5. DOI:10.1182/blood-2006-01-015347 · 10.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Drug resistance resulting from emergence of imatinib-resistant BCR-ABL point mutations is a significant problem in advanced-stage chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). The BCR-ABL inhibitor, nilotinib (AMN107), is significantly more potent against BCR-ABL than imatinib, and is active against many imatinib-resistant BCR-ABL mutants. Phase 1/2 clinical trials show that nilotinib can induce remissions in patients who have previously failed imatinib, indicating that sequential therapy with these 2 agents has clinical value. However, simultaneous, rather than sequential, administration of 2 BCR-ABL kinase inhibitors is attractive for many reasons, including the theoretical possibility that this could reduce emergence of drug-resistant clones. Here, we show that exposure of a variety of BCR-ABL+ cell lines to imatinib and nilotinib results in additive or synergistic cytotoxicity, including testing of a large panel of cells expressing BCR-ABL point mutations causing resistance to imatinib in patients. Further, using a highly quantifiable bioluminescent in vivo model, drug combinations were at least additive in antileukemic activity, compared with each drug alone. These results suggest that despite binding to the same site in the same target kinase, the combination of imatinib and nilotinib is highly efficacious in these models, indicating that clinical testing of combinations of BCR-ABL kinase inhibitors is warranted.
    Blood 04/2007; 109(5):2112-20. DOI:10.1182/blood-2006-06-026377 · 10.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic myelogenous leukaemia (CML) and Philadelphia chromosome positive (Ph+) acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) are caused by the BCR-ABL oncogene. Imatinib inhibits the tyrosine kinase activity of the BCR-ABL protein and is an effective, frontline therapy for chronic-phase CML. However, accelerated or blast-crisis phase CML patients and Ph+ ALL patients often relapse due to drug resistance resulting from the emergence of imatinib-resistant point mutations within the BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase domain. This has stimulated the development of new kinase inhibitors that are able to over-ride resistance to imatinib. The novel, selective BCR-ABL inhibitor, AMN107, was designed to fit into the ATP-binding site of the BCR-ABL protein with higher affinity than imatinib. In addition to being more potent than imatinib (IC50< 30 nM) against wild-type BCR-ABL, AMN107 is also significantly active against 32/33 imatinib-resistant BCR-ABL mutants. In preclinical studies, AMN107 demonstrated activity in vitro and in vivo against wild-type and imatinib-resistant BCR-ABL-expressing cells. In phase I/II clinical trials, AMN107 has produced haematological and cytogenetic responses in CML patients, who either did not initially respond to imatinib or developed imatinib resistance. Dasatinib (BMS-354825), which inhibits Abl and Src family kinases, is another promising new clinical candidate for CML that has shown good efficacy in CML patients. In this review, the early characterisation and development of AMN107 is discussed, as is the current status of AMN107 in clinical trials for imatinib-resistant CML and Ph+ ALL. Future trends investigating prediction of mechanisms of resistance to AMN107, and how and where AMN107 is expected to fit into the overall picture for treatment of early-phase CML and imatinib-refractory and late-stage disease are discussed.
    British Journal of Cancer 06/2006; 94(12):1765-9. DOI:10.1038/sj.bjc.6603170 · 4.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) is a myeloproliferative disorder characterized at the molecular level by the expression of Bcr-abl, a 210-kDa fusion protein with deregulated tyrosine kinase activity. Encouraged by the clinical validation of Bcr-abl as the target for the treatment of CML by imatinib, we sought to identify pharmacological agents that could target this kinase by a distinct mechanism. We report the discovery of a new class of Bcr-abl inhibitors using an unbiased differential cytotoxicity screen of a combinatorial kinase-directed heterocycle library. Compounds in this class (exemplified by GNF-2) show exclusive antiproliferative activity toward Bcr-abl-transformed cells, with potencies similar to imatinib, while showing no inhibition of the kinase activity of full-length or catalytic domain of c-abl. We propose that this new class of compounds inhibits Bcr-abl kinase activity through an allosteric non-ATP competitive mechanism.
    Nature Chemical Biology 03/2006; 2(2):95-102. DOI:10.1038/nchembio760 · 13.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The constitutively activated Abl tyrosine kinase domain of the chimeric Bcr-Abl oncoprotein is responsible for the transformation of haematopoietic stem cells and the symptoms of chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML). Imatinib targets the tyrosine kinase activity of Bcr-Abl and is a first-line therapy for this malignancy. Although highly effective in chronic phase CML, patients who have progressed to the advanced phase of the disease frequently fail to respond to imatinib or develop resistance to therapy and relapse. This is often due to the emergence of clones expressing mutant forms of Bcr-Abl, which exhibit a decreased sensitivity towards inhibition by imatinib. Considerable progress has recently been made in understanding the structural biology of Abl and the molecular basis for resistance, facilitating the discovery and development of second generation drugs designed to combat mutant forms of Bcr-Abl. The first of these compounds to enter clinical development were BMS-354825 (BristolMyersSquibb) and AMN107 (Novartis Pharma) and, from Phase I results, both of these promise a breakthrough in the treatment of imatinib-resistant CML. Recent advances with these and other promising classes of new CML drugs are reviewed.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 01/2006; 1754(1-2):3-13. DOI:10.1016/j.bbapap.2005.07.040 · 4.66 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

5k Citations
317.84 Total Impact Points


  • 2004–2015
    • Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research
      • • Center for Proteomic Chemistry (CPC)
      • • Global Discovery Chemistry Group
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • 1999–2013
    • Novartis
      • Oncology
      Bâle, Basel-City, Switzerland
  • 2007
    • Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
      • Department of Medical Oncology
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States