Kuei-Jung Yen

National Health Research Institutes, Miao-li-chieh, Taiwan, Taiwan

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Publications (8)26.84 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Numerous FLT3 inhibitors have been explored as a viable therapy for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). However, clinical data have been underwhelming due to incomplete inhibition of FLT3 or the emergence of resistant mutations treated with these older agents. We previously developed a series of 3-phenyl-1H-5-pyrazolylamine derivatives as highly potent and selective FLT3 inhibitors with good in vivo efficacy using an intravenous (IV) route. However, the poor bioavailability of these pyrazole compounds limits the development of these promising antileukemic compounds for clinical use. Herein, we describe a novel class of 5-phenyl-thiazol-2-ylamine compounds that are multi-targeted FLT3 inhibitors. From this class of compounds, compound 7h was very potent against AML cell lines and exhibited excellent oral efficacy in AML xenograft models. In addition, further studies demonstrated that compound 7h exhibited potent in vitro and in vivo activities against clinically relevant AC220 (3)-resistant kinase domain mutants of FLT3-ITD. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS.
    European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 05/2015; 100. DOI:10.1016/j.ejmech.2015.05.008 · 3.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Computer-guided drug design is a powerful tool for drug discovery. Herein we disclose the use of this approach for the discovery of dual FMS-like receptor tyrosine kinase-3 (FLT3)-Aurora A inhibitors against cancer. An Aurora hit compound was selected as a starting point, from which 288 virtual molecules were screened. Subsequently, some of these were synthesized and evaluated for their capacity to inhibit FLT3 and Aurora kinase A. To further enhance FLT3 inhibition, structure-activity relationship studies of the lead compound were conducted through a simplification strategy and bioisosteric replacement, followed by the use of computer-guided drug design to prioritize molecules bearing a variety of different terminal groups in terms of favorable binding energy. Selected compounds were then synthesized, and their bioactivity was evaluated. Of these, one novel inhibitor was found to exhibit excellent inhibition of FLT3 and Aurora kinase A and exert a dramatic antiproliferative effect on MOLM-13 and MV4-11 cells, with an IC50 value of 7 nM. Accordingly, it is considered a highly promising candidate for further development.
    ChemMedChem 05/2014; 9(5). DOI:10.1002/cmdc.201300571 · 3.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Overexpression or/and activating mutation of FLT3 kinase play a major driving role in the pathogenesis of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Hence, pharmacologic inhibitors of FLT3 are of therapeutic potential for AML treatment. In this study, BPR1J-340 was identified as a novel potent FLT3 inhibitor by biochemical kinase activity (IC50 approximately 25 nM) and cellular proliferation (GC50 approximately 5 nM) assays. BPR1J-340 inhibited the phosphorylation of FLT3 and STAT5 and triggered apoptosis in FLT3-ITD(+) AML cells. The pharmacokinetic parameters of BPR1J-340 in rats were determined. BPR1J-340 also demonstrated pronounced tumor growth inhibition and regression in FLT3-ITD(+) AML murine xenograft models. The combination treatment of the HDAC inhibitor vorinostat (SAHA) with BPR1J-340 synergistically induced apoptosis via Mcl-1 down-regulation in MOLM-13 AML cells, indicating that the combination of selective FLT3 kinase inhibitors and HDAC inhibitors could exhibit clinical benefit in AML therapy. Our results suggest that BPR1J-340 may be further developed in the preclinical and clinical studies as therapeutics in AML treatments.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(1):e83160. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0083160 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Preclinical investigations and early clinical trials suggest that FLT3 inhibitors are a viable therapy for acute myeloid leukemia. However, early clinical data have been underwhelming due to incomplete inhibition of FLT3. We have developed 3-phenyl-1H-5-pyrazolylamine as an efficient template for kinase inhibitors. Structure-activity relationships led to the discovery of sulfonamide, carbamate and urea series of FLT3 inhibitors. Previous studies showed that the sulfonamide 4 and carbamate 5 series were potent and selective FLT3 inhibitors with good in vivo efficacy. Herein, we describe the urea series, which we found to be potent inhibitors of FLT3 and VEGFR2. Some inhibited growth of FLT3-mutated MOLM-13 cells more strongly than the FLT3 inhibitors sorafenib (2) and ABT-869 (3). In preliminary in vivo toxicity studies of the four most active compounds, 10f was found to be the least toxic. A further in vivo efficacy study demonstrated that 10f achieved complete tumor regression in a higher proportion of MOLM-13 xenograft mice than 4 and 5 (70% vs 10% and 40%). These results show that compound 10f possesses improved pharmacologic and selectivity profiles and could be more effective than previously disclosed FLT3 inhibitors in the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia.
    Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry 04/2013; 21(11). DOI:10.1016/j.bmc.2013.03.083 · 2.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A high-throughput 32D(L858R/T790M) cell-based assay to identify inhibitors of the L858R/T790M mutant epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) pathway was established. After screening, ten hits from among 60,000 compounds in our in-house compound library were initially identified. In the secondary assays, one hit, 1-[2-(decyloxy)-2-oxoethyl]-3-methyl-2-[(4-methylphenoxy) methyl]-1H-benzimidazol-3-ium, was confirmed to directly inhibit the kinase activity of recombinant L858R/T790M EGFR and the phosphorylation of EGFR-L858R/T790M in gefitinib-resistant H1975 cells. Thus, this high-throughput assay system may be useful for identifying novel inhibitors which suppress mutant EGFR-T790M signalling and for overcoming T790M-mediated acquired resistance for future anticancer drug discovery.
    Anticancer research 01/2012; 32(1):147-51. · 1.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a proven therapeutic target to treat a small subset of non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) harboring activating mutations within the EGFR gene. However, many NSCLC patients are not sensitive to EGFR inhibitors, suggesting that other factors are implicated in survival of NSCLC cells. Signal transducers and activators of transcription 3 (Stat3) function as transcription factor to mediate cell survival and differentiation and the dysregulation of Stat3 has been discovered in a number of cancers. In this study, we found that a small molecule, reactivation of p53 and induction of tumor cell apoptosis (RITA), showed anti-cancer activity against gefitinib-resistant H1650 cells through a p53-independent pathway. Stat3 suppression by RITA attracted our attention to investigate the role of Stat3 in sustaining survival of H1650 cells. Pharmacological and genetic approaches were employed to down-regulate Stat3 in H1650 cells. WP1066, a known Stat3 inhibitor, was shown to exhibit inhibitory effect on the growth of H1650 cells. Meanwhile, apoptosis activation by siRNA-mediated down-regulation of Stat3 in H1650 cells provides more direct evidence for the involvement of Stat3 in viability maintenance of H1650 cells. Moreover, as a novel identified Stat3 inhibitor, RITA increased doxorubicin sensitivity of H1650 cells in vitro and in vivo, suggesting that doxorubicin accompanied with Stat3 inhibitors may be considered as an alternative strategy to treat NSCLC patients who have inherent resistance to doxorubicin. Overall, our observations reveal that targeting Stat3 may be an effective treatment for certain NSCLC cells with oncogenic addition to Stat3.
    Biochemical pharmacology 03/2011; 81(11):1263-70. DOI:10.1016/j.bcp.2011.03.003 · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Enterovirus 71 (EV71) causes serious diseases in humans. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of aurintricarboxylic acid (ATA) on EV71 replication and to explore the underlying mechanism. To measure the activity of ATA in inhibiting the cytopathic effect (CPE) of EV71, a cell-based neutralization (inhibition of virus-induced CPE) assay was performed. The effect of ATA was further confirmed using plaque reduction and viral yield reduction assays. A time of addition assay was performed to identify the mechanisms of ATA's anti-EV71 activity. We examined the effects of ATA on the following key steps involved in virus replication: (i) translation of the internal ribosomal entry site (IRES)-mediated viral polyprotein; (ii) the proteolytic activity of viral proteases 2A and/or 3C; and (iii) the viral 3D RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) activity. In this study, ATA was found to be a potent inhibitor of the replication of EV71. In the antiviral neutralization assay, ATA exhibited inhibitory activity against EV71 (TW/4643/98) and EV71 (TW/2231/98). Plaque assay further demonstrated that ATA inhibited EV71 replication with an EC(50) (effective concentration at which 50% of plaques were removed) of 2.9 microM. Studies on the mechanism of action revealed that ATA targets the early stage of the viral life cycle after viral entry. ATA was able to inhibit the RdRp activity of EV71, while neither the IRES-mediated translation of viral polyprotein nor the viral 3C protease activity was affected. Overall, the findings in this study suggest that ATA is able to effectively inhibit EV71 replication through interfering with the viral 3D polymerase.
    Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy 04/2010; 65(4):676-83. DOI:10.1093/jac/dkp502 · 5.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although several cell-based reporter assays have been developed for screening of viral protease inhibitors, most of these assays have a significant limitation in that numerous false positives can be generated for the compounds that are interfering with reporter gene detection due to the cellular viability. To improve, we developed a mammalian cell-based assay based on the reverse two-hybrid system to monitor the proteolytic activity of human enterovirus 71 (EV71) 3C protease and to validate the cytotoxicity of compounds at the same time. In this system, the GAL4 DNA binding domain (M3) and transactivation domain (VP16) were fused, in-frame, with 3C or 3C(mut). The 3C(mut) was an inactivated protease with mutations at the predicted catalytic triad. The reporter plasmid contains a secreted alkaline phosphatase (SEAP) gene under the control of GAL4 activating sequences. We demonstrated that M3-3C-VP16 failed to turn on the expression of SEAP due to the separation of M3 and the VP16 domains by self-cleavage of 3C. In contrast, SEAP expression was induced by the M3-3C(mut)-VP16 fusion protein or the M3-3C-VP16 in cells treated with AG7088, a potent inhibitor of human rhinoviruses (HRVs) 3C protease. Potentially, this protease detection system should greatly facilitate anti-EV71 drug discovery through a high-throughput screening.
    Analytical Biochemistry 05/2008; 375(1):115-23. DOI:10.1016/j.ab.2007.12.019 · 2.22 Impact Factor