[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A series of diaryl- and fluorenone-based analogs of the lead compound UA-62784 [4-(5-(4-methoxyphenyl)oxazol-2-yl)-9H-fluoren-9-one] was synthesized with the intention of improving upon the selective cytotoxicity of UA-62784 against human pancreatic cancer cell lines with a deletion of the tumor suppressor gene deleted in pancreas cancer locus 4 (DPC-4, SMAD-4). Over 80 analogs were synthesized and tested for antitumor activity against pancreatic cancer (PC) cell lines (the PC series). Despite a structural relationship to UA-62784, which inhibits the mitotic kinesin centromere protein E (CENP-E), none of the analogs was selective for DPC-4-deleted pancreatic cancer cell lines. Furthermore, none of the analogs was a potent or selective inhibitor of four different mitotic kinesins (mitotic kinesin-5, CENP-E, mitotic kinesin-like protein-1, and mitotic centromere-associated kinesin). Therefore, other potential mechanisms of action were evaluated. A diaryl oxazole lead analog from this series, PC-046 [5-(4-methoxyphenyl)-2-(3-(3-methoxyphenyl)pyridin-4-yl) oxazole], was shown to potently inhibit several protein kinases that are overexpressed in human pancreatic cancers, including tyrosine receptor kinase B, interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase-4, and proto-oncogene Pim-1. Cells exposed to PC-046 exhibit a cell cycle block in the S-phase followed by apoptotic death and necrosis. PC-046 effectively reduced MiaPaca-2 tumor growth in severe combined immunodeficiency mice by 80% compared with untreated controls. The plasma half-life was 7.5 h, and cytotoxic drug concentrations of >3 muM were achieved in vivo in mice. The diaryl oxazole series of compounds represent a new chemical class of anticancer agents that inhibit several types of cancer-relevant protein kinases.
Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 01/2009; 331(2):636-647. · 3.89 Impact Factor