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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2008 Aug 8;372(4):565-70. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2008.05.074. Epub 2008 May 27.

Crystal structure of HsEg5 in complex with clinical candidate CK0238273 provides insight into inhibitory mechanism, potency, and specificity.

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  • 1ArQule Biomedical Institute, ArQule Incorporated, 333 Providence Highway, Norwood, MA 02062, USA.


HsEg5 is an important mitotic kinesin responsible for bipolar spindle formation at early mitosis. A rich body of evidence shows that inhibition of HsEg5 can result in mitotic arrest followed by cellular apoptosis. Recently identified HsEg5 inhibitor, CK0238273, exhibits potent antitumor activity and is currently in clinical trial. Here we report the cocrystal structure of the motor domain of HsEg5 in complex with CK0238273 at a 2.15 A resolution. Compared to the previously published HsEg5-Monastrol complex structure, CK0238273 shares the same induced-fit pocket with similar allosteric inhibitory mechanism. However, CK0238273 shows better fitting to the binding pocket with 65% increase of hydrophobic interaction area than that of Monastrol. Some unique hydrophilic interactions were also observed mostly between the phenyl ring and 8-chloro on quinazolinone of CK0238273 with ARG221 and GLY217. We believe that the combination of these interactions defines the superior potency and specificity of CK0238273.

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