Nathanael Gray, Postdoctoral Faculty Sponsor
Discovery of High-Affinity Inhibitors of the BPTF Bromodomain.
Journal of medicinal chemistry
The dysfunctional bromodomain PHD finger transcription factor (BPTF) exerts a pivotal influence in the occurrence and development of many human diseases, particularly cancers. Herein, through the structural decomposition of the reported BPTF inhibitor TP-238, the effective structural fragments were synthetically modified to obtain our lead compound DC-BPi-03. DC-BPi-03 was identified as a novel BPTF-BRD inhibitor with a moderate potency (IC50 = 698.3 ± 21.0 nM). A structure-guided structure-activity relationship exploration gave rise to two BPTF inhibitors with much higher affinities, DC-BPi-07 and DC-BPi-11. Notably, DC-BPi-07 and DC-BPi-11 show selectivities 100-fold higher than those of other BRD targets. The cocrystal structures of BPTF in complex with DC-BPi-07 and DC-BPi-11 demonstrate the rationale of chemical efforts from the atomic level. Further study showed that DC-BPi-11 significantly inhibited leukemia cell proliferation.
View details for DOI 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.1c00721
View details for PubMedID 34375106
Discovery and resistance mechanism of a selective CDK12 degrader
NATURE CHEMICAL BIOLOGY
2021; 17 (6): 675-683
Cyclin-dependent kinase 12 (CDK12) is an emerging therapeutic target due to its role in regulating transcription of DNA-damage response (DDR) genes. However, development of selective small molecules targeting CDK12 has been challenging due to the high degree of homology between kinase domains of CDK12 and other transcriptional CDKs, most notably CDK13. In the present study, we report the rational design and characterization of a CDK12-specific degrader, BSJ-4-116. BSJ-4-116 selectively degraded CDK12 as assessed through quantitative proteomics. Selective degradation of CDK12 resulted in premature cleavage and poly(adenylation) of DDR genes. Moreover, BSJ-4-116 exhibited potent antiproliferative effects, alone and in combination with the poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitor olaparib, as well as when used as a single agent against cell lines resistant to covalent CDK12 inhibitors. Two point mutations in CDK12 were identified that confer resistance to BSJ-4-116, demonstrating a potential mechanism that tumor cells can use to evade bivalent degrader molecules.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41589-021-00765-y
View details for Web of Science ID 000631491100003
View details for PubMedID 33753926
Discovery of a Potent Degrader for Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor 1/2.
Angewandte Chemie (International ed. in English)
Aberrant activation of FGFR signaling occurs in many cancers, and ATP-competitive FGFR inhibitors have received regulatory approval. Despite demonstrating clinical efficacy, these inhibitors exhibit dose-limiting toxicity, potentially due to a lack of selectivity amongst the FGFR family and are poorly tolerated. Here, we report the discovery and characterization of DGY-09-192, a bivalent degrader that couples the pan-FGFR inhibitor BGJ398 to a CRL2VHL E3 ligase recruiting ligand, which preferentially induces FGFR1&2 degradation while largely sparing FGFR3&4. DGY-09-192 exhibited two-digit nanomolar DC50 s for both wildtype FGFR2 and several FGFR2-fusions, resulting in degradation-dependent antiproliferative activity in representative gastric cancer and cholangiocarcinoma cells. Importantly, DGY-09-192 induced degradation of a clinically relevant FGFR2 fusion protein in a xenograft model. Taken together, we demonstrate that DGY-09-192 has potential as a prototype FGFR degrader.
View details for DOI 10.1002/anie.202101328
View details for PubMedID 33915015