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J Biol Chem. 2009 Oct 9;284(41):28392-400. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M109.038984. Epub 2009 Aug 18.

Chemical interrogation of FOXO3a nuclear translocation identifies potent and selective inhibitors of phosphoinositide 3-kinases.

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From the Experimental Therapeutics Programme, Spanish National Cancer Research Center (CNIO), Melchor Fernandez Almagro 3, 28029 Madrid, Spain.


Activation of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt signaling pathway is one the most frequent genetic events in human cancer. A cell-based imaging assay that monitored the translocation of the Akt effector protein, Forkhead box O (FOXO), from the cytoplasm to the nucleus was employed to screen a collection of 33,992 small molecules. The positive compounds were used to screen kinases known to be involved in FOXO translocation. Pyrazolopyrimidine derivatives were found to be potent FOXO relocators as well as biochemical inhibitors of PI3Kalpha. A combination of virtual screening and molecular modeling led to the development of a structure-activity relationship, which indicated the preferred substituents on the pyrazolopyrimidine scaffold. This leads to the synthesis of ETP-45658, which is a potent and selective inhibitor of phosphoinositide 3-kinases and demonstrates mechanism of action in tumor cell lines and in vivo in treated mice.

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