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Nat Struct Biol. 2001 Jan;8(1):37-41.

Mechanism-based design of a protein kinase inhibitor.

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The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology Molecular Sciences, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.


Protein kinase inhibitors have applications as anticancer therapeutic agents and biological tools in cell signaling. Based on a phosphoryl transfer mechanism involving a dissociative transition state, a potent and selective bisubstrate inhibitor for the insulin receptor tyrosine kinase was synthesized by linking ATPgammaS to a peptide substrate analog via a two-carbon spacer. The compound was a high affinity competitive inhibitor against both nucleotide and peptide substrates and showed a slow off-rate. A crystal structure of this inhibitor bound to the tyrosine kinase domain of the insulin receptor confirmed the key design features inspired by a dissociative transition state, and revealed that the linker takes part in the octahedral coordination of an active site Mg2+. These studies suggest a general strategy for the development of selective protein kinase inhibitors.

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