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J Med Chem. 2014 Oct 23;57(20):8635-45. doi: 10.1021/jm5012935. Epub 2014 Oct 8.

Structural insights into carbonic anhydrase IX isoform specificity of carbohydrate-based sulfamates.

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Eskitis Institute for Drug Discovery, Griffith University , Nathan, Queensland 4111, Australia.


Carbonic anhydrase IX (CA IX) is an extracellular transmembrane homodimeric zinc metalloenzyme that has been validated as a prognostic marker and therapeutic target for several types of aggressive cancers. CA IX shares a close homology with other CA isoforms, making the design of CA IX isoform selective inhibitors challenging. In this paper, we describe the development of a new class of CA IX inhibitors that comprise a sulfamate as the zinc binding group, a variable linker, and a carbohydrate "tail" moiety. Seven compounds inhibited CA IX with low nM Ki values of 1-2 nM and also exhibited permeability profiles to preferentially target the binding of extracellular CA IX over cytosolic CAs. The crystal structures of two of these compounds in complex with a CA IX-mimic (a variant of CA II, with active site residues that mimic CA IX) and one compound in complex with CA II have been determined to 1.7 Å resolution or better and demonstrate a selective mechanism of binding between the hydrophilic and hydrophobic pockets of CA IX versus CA II. These compounds present promising candidates for anti-CA IX drugs and the treatment for several aggressive cancer types.

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