Oncogenic conversion of the RET (rearranged during transfection) tyrosine kinase is associated with several cancers. A fragment-based chemical screen led to the identification of a novel RET inhibitor, Pz-1. Modeling and kinetic analysis identified Pz-1 as a type II tyrosine kinase inhibitor that is able to bind the "DFG-out" conformation of the kinase. Importantly, from a single-agent polypharmacology standpoint, Pz-1 was shown to be active on VEGFR2, which can block the blood supply required for RET-stimulated growth. In cell-based assays, 1.0 nM of Pz-1 strongly inhibited phosphorylation of all tested RET oncoproteins. At 1.0 mg kg(-1) day(-1) per os, Pz-1 abrogated the formation of tumors induced by RET-mutant fibroblasts and blocked the phosphorylation of both RET and VEGFR2 in tumor tissue. Pz-1 featured no detectable toxicity at concentrations of up to 100.0 mg kg(-1), which indicates a large therapeutic window. This study validates the effectiveness and usefulness of a medicinal chemistry/polypharmacology approach to obtain an inhibitor capable of targeting multiple oncogenic pathways.
- medicinal chemistry
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