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Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2013 Jul 1;23(13):3826-32. doi: 10.1016/j.bmcl.2013.04.080. Epub 2013 May 7.

Optimization of novel nipecotic bis(amide) inhibitors of the Rho/MKL1/SRF transcriptional pathway as potential anti-metastasis agents.

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Vahlteich Medicinal Chemistry Core, Department of Medicinal Chemistry, College of Pharmacy, MI, USA.


CCG-1423 (1) is a novel inhibitor of Rho/MKL1/SRF-mediated gene transcription that inhibits invasion of PC-3 prostate cancer cells in a Matrigel model of metastasis. We recently reported the design and synthesis of conformationally restricted analogs (e.g., 2) with improved selectivity for inhibiting invasion versus acute cytotoxicity. In this study we conducted a survey of aromatic substitution with the goal of improving physicochemical parameters (e.g., ClogP, MW) for future efficacy studies in vivo. Two new compounds were identified that attenuated cytotoxicity even further, and were fourfold more potent than 2 at inhibiting PC-3 cell migration in a scratch wound assay. One of these (8a, CCG-203971, IC50=4.2 μM) was well tolerated in mice for 5 days at 100mg/kg/day i.p., and was able to achieve plasma levels exceeding the migration IC50 for up to 3 h.

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