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Biochemistry. 1998 Jun 30;37(26):9579-85.

Ro 09-2210 exhibits potent anti-proliferative effects on activated T cells by selectively blocking MKK activity.

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Roche Research Centre, Herts, United Kingdom.


By using high throughput screening of microbial broths, we have identified a compound, designated Ro 09-2210, which is able to block anti-CD3 induced peripheral blood T cell activation with an IC50 = 40 nM. Ro 09-2210 was also able to block antigen-induced IL-2 secretion with an IC50 = 30 nM, but was considerably less potent at blocking Ca2+ flux stimulated by anti-CD3 treatment. To determine the mechanism of action of Ro 09-2210, we set up a transient expression system in Jurkat T cells using a variety of reporter gene constructs and showed effective inhibition of phorbol ester/ionomycin-induced NF-AT activation and anti-CD3 induced NF-AT with IC50 = 7.7 and 10 nM, respectively. Ro 09-2210 was also able to inhibit phorbol ester/ionomycin-induced activation of AP1 with IC50 = <10 nM. We further showed that Ro 09-2210 was unable to inhibit c-jun induced expression of AP1-dependent reporter constructs (IC50 > 500 nM), but was able to potently inhibit ras-induced AP1 activation (IC50 = 20 nM). This suggested that Ro 09-2210 was inhibiting an activator of AP-1 which was upstream of c-jun and downstream of ras signaling. To investigate further, we then purified a number of different kinases, including PKC, PhK, ZAP-70, ERK, and MEK 1 (a MKK), and showed that Ro 09-2210 was a selective inhibitor of MEK1 in vitro (IC50 = 59 nM).

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