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Bioorg Med Chem. 2009 Sep 1;17(17):6196-202. doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2009.07.056. Epub 2009 Jul 26.

Staurosporine tethered peptide ligands that target cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA): optimization and selectivity profiling.

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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, United States.


We have recently developed a fragment based selection strategy for targeting kinases, where a small molecule warhead can be non-covalently tethered to a phage-displayed library of peptides. This approach was applied to the conversion of the promiscuous kinase inhibitor, staurosporine, into a potent bivalent ligand for cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA). Herein we report a systematic evaluation of this new bivalent ligand (BL); (a) Lineweaver-Burke analysis revealed that the BL, unlike substrate-based bivalent kinase inhibitors, displayed non-competitive inhibition with respect to the peptide substrate, suggesting an allosteric mechanism of action; (b) linker optimization of the BL, afforded one of the most potent, sub-nanomolar, inhibitors of PKA reported to date; (c) the BL was found to be modular, where attachment of active site targeted small molecule warheads in lieu of staurosporine could achieve similar gains in affinity; and (d) profiling studies of both the staurosporine derivative and the BL (amide isostere) against a panel of 90 kinases revealed almost unique enhancement in selectivity against PKA (>5-fold) compared to the starting staurosporine derivative. These combined results provide new insights for BL discovery, which has the potential to provide guidance toward the development of kinase selective reagents while uncovering new allosteric sites on kinases for therapeutic targeting.

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