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Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2006 Apr 1;16(7):1780-3. Epub 2006 Jan 24.

Kinesin spindle protein (KSP) inhibitors. Part 3: synthesis and evaluation of phenolic 2,4-diaryl-2,5-dihydropyrroles with reduced hERG binding and employment of a phosphate prodrug strategy for aqueous solubility.

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Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Merck Research Laboratories, West Point, PA 19486, USA.


2,4-Diaryl-2,5-dihydropyrroles have been discovered to be novel, potent and water-soluble inhibitors of KSP, an emerging therapeutic target for the treatment of cancer. A potential concern for these basic KSP inhibitors (1 and 2) was hERG binding that can be minimized by incorporation of a potency-enhancing C2 phenol combined with neutral N1 side chains. Aqueous solubility was restored to these, and other, non-basic inhibitors, through a phosphate prodrug strategy.

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