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Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2007 Nov 1;17(21):5944-51. Epub 2007 Aug 25.

Discovery of 4'-(1,4-dihydro-indeno[1,2-c]pyrazol-3-yl)-benzonitriles and 4'-(1,4-dihydro-indeno[1,2-c]pyrazol-3-yl)-pyridine-2'-carbonitriles as potent checkpoint kinase 1 (Chk1) inhibitors.

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Cancer Research, Global Pharmaceutical Research and Development, Abbott Laboratories, Abbott Park, IL 60064, USA.


An extensive structure-activity relationship study of the 3-position of a series of tricyclic pyrazole-based Chk1 inhibitors is described. As a result, 4'-(1,4-dihydro-indeno[1,2-c]pyrazol-3-yl)-benzonitriles (4) and 4'-(1,4-dihydro-indeno[1,2-c]pyrazol-3-yl)-pyridine-2'-carbonitriles (29) emerged as new lead series. Compared with the original lead compound 2, these new leads fully retain the biological activity in both enzymatic inhibition and cell-based assays. More importantly, the new leads 4 and 29 exhibit favorable physicochemical properties such as lower molecular weight, lower Clog P, and the absence of a hydroxyl group. Furthermore, structure-activity relationship studies were performed at the 6- and 7-positions of 4, which led to the identification of ideal Chk1 inhibitors 49, 50, 51, and 55. These compounds not only potently inhibit Chk1 in an enzymatic assay but also significantly potentiate the cytotoxicity of DNA-damaging agents in cell-based assays while they show little single agent activity. A cell cycle analysis by FACS confirmed that these Chk1 inhibitors efficiently abrogate the G2/M and S checkpoints induced by DNA-damaging agent. The current work paved the way to the identification of several potent Chk1 inhibitors with good pharmacokinetics that are suitable for in vivo study with oral dosing.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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