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J Med Chem. 2011 Mar 10;54(5):1401-20. doi: 10.1021/jm101438u. Epub 2011 Feb 14.

Non-nucleoside inhibitors of human adenosine kinase: synthesis, molecular modeling, and biological studies.

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European Research Centre for Drug Discovery and Development, NatSynDrugs, Università di Siena, 53100 Siena, Italy.


Adenosine kinase (AK) catalyzes the phosphorylation of adenosine (Ado) to AMP by means of a kinetic mechanism in which the two substrates Ado and ATP bind the enzyme in a binary and/or ternary complex, with distinct protein conformations. Most of the described inhibitors have Ado-like structural motifs and are nonselective, and some of them (e.g., the tubercidine-like ligands) are characterized by a toxic profile. We have cloned and expressed human AK (hAK) and searched for novel non-substrate-like inhibitors. Our efforts to widen the structural diversity of AK inhibitors led to the identification of novel non-nucleoside, noncompetitive allosteric modulators characterized by a unique molecular scaffold. Among the pyrrolobenzoxa(thia)zepinones (4a-qq) developed, 4a was identified as a non-nucleoside prototype hAK inhibitor. 4a has proapoptotic efficacy, slight inhibition of short-term RNA synthesis, and cytostatic activity on tumor cell lines while showing low cytotoxicity and no significant adverse effects on short-term DNA synthesis in cells.

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