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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2009 Jan 9;378(2):162-7. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2008.10.139. Epub 2008 Nov 4.

Designing Smac-mimetics as antagonists of XIAP, cIAP1, and cIAP2.

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  • 1Department of Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology, University of Milano, Via Celoria 26, I-20133 Milano, Italy.


Inhibitor of apoptosis proteins (IAPs) such as XIAP, cIAP1, and cIAP2 are upregulated in many cancer cells. Several compounds targeting IAPs and inducing cell death in cancer cells have been developed. Some of these are synthesized mimicking the N-terminal tetrapeptide sequence of Smac/DIABLO, the natural endogenous IAPs inhibitor. Starting from such conceptual design, we generated a library of 4-substituted azabicyclo[5.3.0]alkane Smac-mimetics. Here we report the crystal structure of the BIR3 domain from XIAP in complex with Smac037, a compound designed according to structural principles emerging from our previously analyzed XIAP BIR3/Smac-mimetic complexes. In parallel, we present an in silico docking analysis of three Smac-mimetics to the BIR3 domain of cIAP1, providing general considerations for the development of high affinity lead compounds targeting three members of the IAP family.

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