[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF-1R) is an attractive target for anti-cancer therapy due to its anti-apoptotic effect on tumor cells, but inhibition of insulin receptor (IR) may have undesired metabolic consequences. The primary sequences of the ATP substrate-binding sites of these receptors are identical and the crystal structures of the activated kinase domains are correspondingly similar. Thus, most small-molecule inhibitors described to date are equally potent against the activated kinase domains of IGF-1R and IR. In contrast, the non-phosphorylated kinase domains of these receptors have several structural features that may accommodate differences in binding affinity for kinase inhibitors. We used a cell-based assay measuring IGF-1R autophosphorylation as an inhibitor screen, and identified a potent purine derivative that is selective compared to IR. Surprisingly, the compound is a weak inhibitor of the activated IGF-1R tyrosine kinase domain. Biochemical and structural studies are presented that indicate the compound preferentially binds to the ATP site of non-phosphorylated IGF-1R compared to phosphorylated IGF-1R. The potential selectivity and potency advantages of this binding mode are discussed.