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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2010 Jun;333(3):797-807. doi: 10.1124/jpet.110.166173. Epub 2010 Mar 17.

A benzothiophene inhibitor of mitogen-activated protein kinase-activated protein kinase 2 inhibits tumor necrosis factor alpha production and has oral anti-inflammatory efficacy in acute and chronic models of inflammation.

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Department of Discovery Biology, Inflammation Research Unit, Pfizer Global Research and Development, Chesterfield, Missouri, USA.


Activation of the p38 kinase pathway in immune cells leads to the transcriptional and translational regulation of proinflammatory cytokines. Mitogen-activated protein kinase-activated protein kinase 2 (MK2), a direct downstream substrate of p38 kinase, regulates lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) production through modulating the stability and translation of these mRNAs. Developing small-molecule inhibitors of MK2 may yield anti-inflammatory efficacy with a different safety profile relative to p38 kinase inhibitors. This article describes the pharmacologic properties of a benzothiophene MK2 inhibitor, PF-3644022 [(10R)-10-methyl-3-(6-methylpyridin-3-yl)-9,10,11,12-tetrahydro-8H-[1,4]diazepino[5',6':4,5]thieno[3,2-f]quinolin-8-one]. PF-3644022 is a potent freely reversible ATP-competitive compound that inhibits MK2 activity (K(i) = 3 nM) with good selectivity when profiled against 200 human kinases. In the human U937 monocytic cell line or peripheral blood mononuclear cells, PF-3644022 potently inhibits TNFalpha production with similar activity (IC(50) = 160 nM). PF-3644022 blocks TNFalpha and IL-6 production in LPS-stimulated human whole blood with IC(50) values of 1.6 and 10.3 microM, respectively. Inhibition of TNFalpha in U937 cells and blood correlates closely with inhibition of phospho-heat shock protein 27, a target biomarker of MK2 activity. PF-3644022 displays good pharmacokinetic parameters in rats and is orally efficacious in both the rat acute LPS-induced TNFalpha model and the chronic streptococcal cell wall-induced arthritis model. Dose-dependent inhibition of TNFalpha production in the acute model and inhibition of paw swelling in the chronic model is observed with ED(50) values of 6.9 and 20 mg/kg, respectively. PF-3644022 efficacy in the chronic inflammation model is strongly correlated with maintaining a C(min) higher than the EC(50) measured in the rat LPS-induced TNFalpha model.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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