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J Med Chem. 2008 Mar 13;51(5):1203-13. doi: 10.1021/jm700972e. Epub 2008 Feb 13.

Structure-activity studies on splitomicin derivatives as sirtuin inhibitors and computational prediction of binding mode.

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Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Albert-Ludwigs-Universit├Ąt Freiburg, Albertstr. 25, 79104 Freiburg, Germany.


NAD (+)-dependent histone deacetylases (sirtuins) are enzymes that cleave acetyl groups from lysines in histones and other proteins. Potent selective sirtuin inhibitors are interesting tools for the investigation of the biological functions of those enzymes and may be future drugs for the treatment of cancer. Splitomicin was among the first two inhibitors that were discovered for yeast sirtuins but showed rather weak inhibition on human enzymes. We present detailed structure-activity relationships on splitomicin derivatives and their inhibition of recombinant Sirt2. To rationalize our experimental results, ligand docking followed by molecular mechanics Poisson-Boltzmann/surface area (MM-PBSA) calculations were carried out. These analyses suggested a molecular basis for the interaction of the beta-phenylsplitomicins with human Sirt2. Protein-based virtual screening resulted in the identification of a novel Sirt2 inhibitor chemotype. Selected inhibitors showed antiproliferative properties and tubulin hyperacetylation in MCF7 breast cancer cells and are promising candidates for further optimization as potential anticancer drugs.

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