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J Med Chem. 2014 Dec 26;57(24):10290-303. doi: 10.1021/jm501372p. Epub 2014 Dec 12.

Synthesis and structure-activity relationship studies of small molecule disruptors of EWS-FLI1 interactions in Ewing's sarcoma.

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Center for Drug Discovery, Georgetown University Medical Center , New Research Building EP07, 3970 Reservoir Road, NW, Washington, D.C. 20057, United States.


EWS-FLI1 is an oncogenic fusion protein implicated in the development of Ewing's sarcoma family tumors (ESFT). Using our previously reported lead compound 2 (YK-4-279), we designed and synthesized a focused library of analogues. The functional inhibition of the analogues was measured by an EWS-FLI1/NR0B1 reporter luciferase assay and a paired cell screening approach measuring effects on growth inhibition for human cells containing EWS-FLI1 (TC32 and TC71) and control PANC1 cell lines devoid of the oncoprotein. Our data revealed that substitution of electron donating groups at the para-position on the phenyl ring was the most favorable for inhibition of EWS-FLI1 by analogs of 2. Compound 9u (with a dimethylamino substitution) was the most active inhibitor with GI50 = 0.26 ± 0.1 μM. Further, a correlation of growth inhibition (EWS-FLI1 expressing TC32 cells) and the luciferase reporter activity was established (R(2) = 0.84). Finally, we designed and synthesized a biotinylated analogue and determined the binding affinity for recombinant EWS-FLI1 (Kd = 4.8 ± 2.6 μM).

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