National Center for
4ZY4: Crystal Structure Of P21 Activated Kinase 1 In Complex With An Inhibitor Compound 4
J. Med. Chem. (2015) 58 p.5121-5136
The p21-activated kinases (PAKs) play important roles in cytoskeletal organization, cellular morphogenesis, and survival and have generated significant attention as potential therapeutic targets for cancer. Following a high-throughput screen, we identified an aminopyrazole scaffold-based series that was optimized to yield group I selective PAK inhibitors. A structure-based design effort aimed at targeting the ribose pocket for both potency and selectivity led to much-improved group I vs II selectivity. Early lead compounds contained a basic primary amine, which was found to be a major metabolic soft spot with in vivo clearance proceeding predominantly via N-acetylation. We succeeded in identifying replacements with improved metabolic stability, leading to compounds with lower in vivo rodent clearance and excellent group I PAK selectivity.