Aurora A and Aurora B are potential targets for anticancer drug development due to their roles in tumorigenesis and disease progression. To identify small-molecule inhibitors of the Aurora kinases, we undertook a structure-based design approach that used three-dimensional structural models of the Aurora A kinase and molecular docking simulations of chemical entities. Based on these computational methods, a new generation of inhibitors derived from quinazoline and pyrimidine-based tricyclic scaffolds were synthesized and evaluated for Aurora A kinase inhibitory activity, which led to the identification of 4-(6,7-dimethoxy-9H-1, 3,9-triaza-fluoren-4-yl)-piperazine-1-carbothioic acid [4-(pyrimidin-2-ylsulfamoyl)-phenyl]-amide. The lead compound showed selectivity for the Aurora kinases when it was evaluated against a panel of diverse kinases. Additionally, the compound was evaluated in cell-based assays, showing a dose-dependent decrease in phospho-histone H3 levels and an arrest of the cell cycle in the G2-M fraction. Although biological effects were observed only at relatively high concentrations, this chemical series provides an excellent starting point for drug optimization and further development.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research