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J Med Chem. 2011 Mar 24;54(6):1576-86. doi: 10.1021/jm100991m. Epub 2011 Feb 23.

Structure-activity relationship and multidrug resistance study of new S-trityl-L-cysteine derivatives as inhibitors of Eg5.

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The Beatson Institute for Cancer Research, Switchback Road, Bearsden, Glasgow G61 1BD, Scotland, UK.


The mitotic spindle is a validated target for cancer chemotherapy. Drugs such as taxanes and vinca alkaloids specifically target microtubules and cause the mitotic spindle to collapse. However, toxicity and resistance are problems associated with these drugs. Thus, alternative approaches to inhibiting the mitotic spindle are being pursued. These include targeting Eg5, a human kinesin involved in the formation of the bipolar spindle. We previously identified S-trityl-L-cysteine (STLC) as a potent allosteric inhibitor of Eg5. Here, we report the synthesis of a new series of STLC-like compounds with in vitro inhibition in the low nanomolar range. We also performed a multidrug resistance study in cell lines overexpressing P-glycoprotein and showed that some of these inhibitors may have the potential to overcome susceptibility to this efflux pump. Finally, we performed molecular docking of the compounds and determined the structures of two Eg5-inhibitor complexes to explain the structure-activity relationship of these compounds.

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