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Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2009 Nov 15;19(22):6319-25. doi: 10.1016/j.bmcl.2009.09.089. Epub 2009 Sep 25.

Syntheses of aminoalcohol-derived macrocycles leading to a small-molecule binder to and inhibitor of Sonic Hedgehog.

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GI Unit, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit Street, Boston, MA 02114, USA.


We report the synthesis and biological activity of a library of aminoalcohol-derived macrocycles from which robotnikinin, a binder to and inhibitor of Sonic Hedgehog, was derived. Using an asymmetric alkylation to set a key stereocenter and an RCM reaction to close the macrocycle, we were able to synthesize compounds for testing. High-throughput screening via small-molecule microarray (SMM) technology led to the discovery of a compound capable of binding ShhN. Follow-up chemistry led to a library of macrocycles with enhanced biological activity relative to the original hit compounds. Differences in ring size and stereochemistry, leading to alterations in the mode of binding, may account for differences in the degree of biological activity. These compounds are the first ones reported that inhibit Shh signaling at the ShhN level.

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