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Eur J Med Chem. 2012 Feb;48:1-15. doi: 10.1016/j.ejmech.2011.11.019. Epub 2011 Nov 18.

Structure-based design, synthesis and biological evaluation of N-pyrazole, N'-thiazole urea inhibitors of MAP kinase p38α.

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Chemical Genomics Centre of the Max Planck Society, Otto-Hahn-Strasse 15, D-44227 Dortmund, Germany.


In this paper, we present the structure-based design, synthesis and biological activity of N-pyrazole, N'-thiazole-ureas as potent inhibitors of p38α mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38α MAPK). Guided by complex crystal structures, we employed the initially identified N-aryl, N'-thiazole urea scaffold and introduced key structural elements that allowed the formation of novel hydrogen bonding interactions within the allosteric site of p38α, resulting in potent type III inhibitors. [4-(3-tert-Butyl-5-{[(1,3-thiazol-2-ylamino)carbonyl]amino}-1H-pyrazol-1-yl)-phenyl]acetic acid 18c was found to be the most potent compound within this series and inhibited p38α activity with an IC(50) of 135 ± 21 nM. Its closest analog, ethyl [4-(3-tert-butyl-5-{[(1,3-thiazol-2-ylamino)carbonyl]amino}-1H-pyrazol-1-yl)phenyl]acetate 18b, effectively inhibited p38α mediated phosphorylation of the mitogen activated protein kinase activated protein kinase 2 (MK2) in HeLa cells.

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