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Bioorg Med Chem. 2013 May 1;21(9):2600-17. doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2013.02.023. Epub 2013 Feb 21.

Pyridinylpyrimidines selectively inhibit human methionine aminopeptidase-1.

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State Key Laboratory of Bioorganic and Natural Products Chemistry, Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 354 Fenglin Road, Shanghai 200032, China.


Cellular protein synthesis is initiated with methionine in eukaryotes with few exceptions. Methionine aminopeptidases (MetAPs) which catalyze the process of N-terminal methionine excision are essential for all organisms. In mammals, type 2 MetAP (MetAP2) is known to be important for angiogenesis, while type 1 MetAP (MetAP1) has been shown to play a pivotal role in cell proliferation. Our previous high-throughput screening of a commercial compound library uncovered a novel class of inhibitors for both human MetAP1 (HsMetAP1) and human MetAP2 (HsMetAP2). This class of inhibitors contains a pyridinylpyrimidine core. To understand the structure-activity relationship (SAR) and to search for analogues of 2 with greater potency and higher HsMetAP1-selectivity, a total of 58 analogues were acquired through either commercial source or by in-house synthesis and their inhibitory activities against HsMetAP1 and HsMetAP2 were determined. Through this systematic medicinal chemistry analysis, we have identified (1) 5-chloro-6-methyl-2-pyridin-2-ylpyrimidine as the minimum element for the inhibition of HsMetAP1; (2) 5'-chloro as the favored substituent on the pyridine ring for the enhanced potency against HsMetAP1; and (3) long C4 side chains as the essentials for higher HsMetAP1-selectivity. At the end of our SAR campaign, 25b, 25c, 26d and 30a-30c are among the most selective and potent inhibitors of purified HsMetAP1 reported to date. In addition, we also performed crystallographic analysis of one representative inhibitor (26d) in complex with N-terminally truncated HsMetAP1.

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