Projects per year
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.
2/09/13 → 1/09/17
Soares, P., Gadd, M., Frost, J., Galdeano, C., Ellis, L., Epemolu, R., Rocha, S., Read, K., & Ciulli, A. (2018). 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) . Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 61, 599-618. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jmedchem.7b00675