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J Med Chem. 2008 Oct 9;51(19):5958-63. doi: 10.1021/jm800214a. Epub 2008 Sep 11.

Identification, characterization and initial hit-to-lead optimization of a series of 4-arylamino-3-pyridinecarbonitrile as protein kinase C theta (PKCtheta) inhibitors.

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Chemical and Screening Sciences, Wyeth Research, Pearl River, New York 10965, USA.


The protein kinase C (PKC) family of serine/threonine kinases is implicated in a wide variety of cellular processes. The PKC theta (PKCtheta) isoform is involved in TCR signal transduction and T cell activation and regulates T cell mediated diseases, including lung inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness. Thus inhibition of PKCtheta enzyme activity by a small molecule represents an attractive strategy for the treatment of asthma. A PKCtheta high-throughput screening (HTS) campaign led to the identification of 4-(3-bromophenylamino)-5-(3,4-dimethoxyphenyl)-3-pyridinecarbonitrile 4a, a low microM ATP competitive PKCtheta inhibitor. Structure based hit-to-lead optimization led to the identification of 5-(3,4-dimethoxyphenyl)-4-(1H-indol-5-ylamino)-3-pyridinecarbonitrile 4p, a 70 nM PKCtheta inhibitor. Compound 4p was selective for inhibition of novel PKC isoforms over a panel of 21 serine/threonine, tyrosine, and phosphoinositol kinases, in addition to the conventional and atypical PKCs, PKCbeta, and PKCzeta, respectively. Compound 4p also inhibited IL-2 production in antiCD3/anti-CD28 activated T cells enriched from splenocytes.

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