Group-based optimization of potent and cell-active inhibitors of the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) E3 ubiquitin ligase: structure-activity relationships leading to the chemical probe (2S,4R)-1-((S)-2-(1-cyanocyclopropanecarboxamido)-3,3-dimethylbutanoyl)-4-hydroxy-N-(4-(4-methylthiazol-5-yl)benzyl)pyrrolidine-2-carboxamide (VH298)

Pedro Soares, Morgan Gadd, Julianty Frost, Carles Galdeano, Lucy Ellis, Rafiu Epemolu, Sonia Rocha, Kevin Read, Alessio Ciulli (Lead / Corresponding author)

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36 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

The von Hippel–Lindau tumor suppressor protein is the substrate binding subunit of the VHL E3 ubiquitin ligase, which targets hydroxylated α subunit of hypoxia inducible factors (HIFs) for ubiquitination and subsequent proteasomal degradation. VHL is a potential target for treating anemia and ischemic diseases, motivating the development of inhibitors of the VHL:HIF-α protein-protein interaction. Additionally, bifunctional proteolysis targeting chimeras (PROTACs) containing a VHL ligand can hijack the E3 ligase activity to induce degradation of target proteins. We report the structure-guided design and group-based optimization of a series of VHL inhibitors with low nanomolar potencies and improved cellular permeability. Structure-activity relationships led to the discovery of potent inhibitors 10 and chemical probe VH298, with dissociation constants <100 nM, which induced marked HIF-1α intracellular stabilization. Our study provides new chemical tools to probe the VHL-HIF pathways, and new VHL ligands for next-generation PROTACs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)599-618
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Medicinal Chemistry
Volume61
Early online date30 Aug 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2018

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