Wednesday, June 21, 2017

2-Chloropropionamide as a low-reactivity electrophile for irreversible small-molecule probe identification

Dharmaraja Allimuthu and Drew J. Adams

ACS Chem. Biol., 2017, Just Accepted Manuscript
DOI: 10.1021/acschembio.7b00424


Resurgent interest in covalent target engagement in drug discovery has demonstrated that small molecules containing weakly reactive electrophiles can be safe and effective therapies. Several recently FDA-approved drugs feature an acrylamide functionality to selectively engage cysteine side chains of kinases (Ibrutinib, Afatinib, and Neratinib). Additional electrophilic functionalities whose reactivity is compatible with highly selective target engagement and in vivo application could open new avenues in covalent small molecule discovery. Here we report the synthesis and evaluation of a library of small molecules containing the 2-chloropropionamide functionality, which we demonstrate is less reactive than typical acrylamide electrophiles. Although many library members do not appear to label proteins in cells, we identified S-CW3554 as selectively labeling protein disulfide isomerase and inhibiting its enzymatic activity. Subsequent profiling of the library against five diverse cancer cell lines showed unique cytotoxicity for S-CW3554 in cells derived from multiple myeloma, a cancer recently reported to be sensitive to PDI inhibition. Our novel PDI inhibitor highlights the potential of 2-chloropropionamides as weak and stereochemically-tunable electrophiles for covalent drug discovery.

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