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J Med Chem. 2013 Jul 11;56(13):5446-55. doi: 10.1021/jm400490e. Epub 2013 Jun 21.

Development and binding mode assessment of N-[4-[2-propyn-1-yl[(6S)-4,6,7,8-tetrahydro-2-(hydroxymethyl)-4-oxo-3H-cyclopenta[g]quinazolin-6-yl]amino]benzoyl]-l-γ-glutamyl-D-glutamic acid (BGC 945), a novel thymidylate synthase inhibitor that targets tumor cells.

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Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California-San Francisco , 600 16th Street, San Francisco, California 94158, United States.


N-[4-[2-Propyn-1-yl[(6S)-4,6,7,8-tetrahydro-2-(hydroxymethyl)-4-oxo-3H-cyclopenta[g]quinazolin-6-yl]amino]benzoyl]-l-γ-glutamyl-d-glutamic acid 1 (BGC 945, now known as ONX 0801), is a small molecule thymidylate synthase (TS) inhibitor discovered at the Institute of Cancer Research in London. It is licensed by Onyx Pharmaceuticals and is in phase 1 clinical studies. It is a novel antifolate drug resembling TS inhibitors plevitrexed and raltitrexed that combines enzymatic inhibition of thymidylate synthase with α-folate receptor-mediated targeting of tumor cells. Thus, it has potential for efficacy with lower toxicity due to selective intracellular accumulation through α-folate receptor (α-FR) transport. The α-FR, a cell-surface receptor glycoprotein, which is overexpressed mainly in ovarian and lung cancer tumors, has an affinity for 1 similar to that for its natural ligand, folic acid. This study describes a novel synthesis of 1, an X-ray crystal structure of its complex with Escherichia coli TS and 2'-deoxyuridine-5'-monophosphate, and a model for a similar complex with human TS.

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