Send to

Choose Destination
Bioorg Med Chem. 2009 Sep 15;17(18):6641-50. doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2009.07.071. Epub 2009 Aug 3.

A critical electrostatic interaction mediates inhibitor recognition by human asparagine synthetase.

Author information

Institute for Chemical Research, Kyoto University, Kyoto 611-011, Japan.


The first sulfoximine-based inhibitor of human asparagine synthetase (ASNS) with nanomolar potency has been shown to suppress proliferation of asparaginase-resistant MOLT-4 cells in the presence of L-asparaginase. This validates literature hypotheses concerning the viability of human ASNS as a target for new drugs against acute lymphoblastic leukemia and ovarian cancer. Developing structure-function relationships for this class of human ASNS inhibitors has proven difficult, however, primarily because of the absence of rapid synthetic procedures for constructing highly functionalized sulfoximines. We now report conditions for the efficient preparation of these compounds by coupling sulfoxides and sulfamides in the presence of a rhodium catalyst. Access to this methodology has permitted the construction of two new adenylated sulfoximines, which were expected to exhibit similar binding affinity and better bioavailability than the original human ASNS inhibitor. Steady-state kinetic characterization of these compounds, however, has revealed the importance of a localized negative charge on the inhibitor that mimics that of the phosphate group in a key acyl-adenylate reaction intermediate. These experiments place an important constraint on the design of sulfoximine libraries for screening experiments to obtain ASNS inhibitors with increased potency and bioavailability.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center