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J Med Chem. 2016 Apr 28;59(8):3991-4006. doi: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.6b00228. Epub 2016 Apr 12.

Monoacidic Inhibitors of the Kelch-like ECH-Associated Protein 1: Nuclear Factor Erythroid 2-Related Factor 2 (KEAP1:NRF2) Protein-Protein Interaction with High Cell Potency Identified by Fragment-Based Discovery.

Author information

1
Astex Pharmaceuticals, 436 Cambridge Science Park, Cambridge CB4 0QA, U.K.
2
GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals, 709 Swedeland Road, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania 19406, United States.
3
GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals, 1250 South Collegeville Road, Collegeville, Pennsylvania 19426, United States.

Abstract

KEAP1 is the key regulator of the NRF2-mediated cytoprotective response, and increasingly recognized as a target for diseases involving oxidative stress. Pharmacological intervention has focused on molecules that decrease NRF2-ubiquitination through covalent modification of KEAP1 cysteine residues, but such electrophilic compounds lack selectivity and may be associated with off-target toxicity. We report here the first use of a fragment-based approach to directly target the KEAP1 Kelch-NRF2 interaction. X-ray crystallographic screening identified three distinct "hot-spots" for fragment binding within the NRF2 binding pocket of KEAP1, allowing progression of a weak fragment hit to molecules with nanomolar affinity for KEAP1 while maintaining drug-like properties. This work resulted in a promising lead compound which exhibits tight and selective binding to KEAP1, and activates the NRF2 antioxidant response in cellular and in vivo models, thereby providing a high quality chemical probe to explore the therapeutic potential of disrupting the KEAP1-NRF2 interaction.

PMID:
27031670
DOI:
10.1021/acs.jmedchem.6b00228
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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