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J Med Chem. 2016 May 26;59(10):4511-25. doi: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.5b01762. Epub 2016 Apr 21.

Development of Small Molecules that Specifically Inhibit the D-loop Activity of RAD51.

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Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, Drug Discovery Program, University of Illinois at Chicago , Chicago, 833 South Wood Street 539c PHAR, MC 781, Illinois 60612, United States.
Department of Radiation and Cellular Oncology, University of Chicago , Chicago, Illinois 60637, United States.


RAD51 is the central protein in homologous recombination (HR) DNA repair and represents a therapeutic target in oncology. Herein we report a novel class of RAD51 inhibitors that were identified by high throughput screening. In contrast to many previously reported RAD51 inhibitors, our lead compound 1 is capable of blocking RAD51-mediated D-loop formation (IC50 21.3 ± 7.8 μM) at concentrations that do not influence RAD51 binding to ssDNA. In human cells, 1 inhibits HR (IC50 13.1 ± 1.6 μM) without blocking RAD51's ability to assemble into subnuclear foci at sites of DNA damage. We determined that the active constituent of 1 is actually an oxidized derivative (termed RI(dl)-1 or 8) of the original screening compound. Our SAR campaign also yielded RI(dl)-2 (hereafter termed 9h), which effectively blocks RAD51's D-loop activity in biochemical systems (IC50 11.1 ± 1.3 μM) and inhibits HR activity in human cells (IC50 3.0 ± 1.8 μM).

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