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J Med Chem. 2006 Feb 23;49(4):1271-81.

Design, synthesis, and biological evaluation of 3,4-diarylmaleimides as angiogenesis inhibitors.

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Department of Pharmacy, Johannes Gutenberg-University, Staudingerweg 5, D-55099 Mainz, Germany.


The new analogue 2 of combretastatin A-4 was discovered to be an inhibitor of tubulin polymerization with an IC50 of 7.6 microM and reduced angiogenesis in the in vivo chick embryo model. Interestingly, in a series of 2,3-diarylmaleimides closely related to this lead, no other compound was found to be active in the tubulin polymerization assay. However, by screening in the in vivo chick embryo assay 10 was identified as a potent angiogenesis inhibitor indicating an alternative target. Indeed, molecular modeling studies suggest a reasonable binding mode of 10 at the ATP-binding site of the model kinase CDK2. Motivated by these results, analogues of 10 were screened for inhibitory activity in a panel of 12 selected protein kinases and a high affinity of 10 to VEGF-R2 was found showing an IC50 of 2.5 nM. Structure-activity relationships (SAR) for this compound series with the isolated enzyme and equivalent antiangiogenic activity in the chick embryo assay are presented herein.

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