Monday, April 20, 2020

2-Sulfonyl pyridines as tunable, cysteine-reactive electrophiles [@mikebollong]

Claudio Zambaldo, Ekaterina V. Vinogradova, Xiaotian Qi, Jonathan Iaconelli, Radu M. Suciu, Minseob Koh, Kristine Senkane, Stormi R Chadwick, Brittany B. Sanchez, Jason S. Chen, Arnab K. Chatterjee, Peng Liu, Peter G Schultz, Benjamin F. Cravatt, and Michael J. Bollong
Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2020
DOI: 10.1021/jacs.0c02721

The emerging use of covalent ligands as chemical probes and drugs would benefit from an expanded repertoire of cysteine-reactive electrophiles for efficient and diverse targeting of the proteome. Here we use the endogenous electrophile sensor of mammalian cells — the KEAP1-NRF2 pathway — to discover cysteine-reactive electrophilic fragments from a reporter-based screen for NRF2 activation. This strategy identified a series of 2-sulfonyl pyridines that selectively react with biological thi-ols via nucleophilic aromatic substitution (SNAr). By tuning the electrophilicity and appended recognition elements, we demonstrate the potential of the 2-sulfonyl pyridine reactive group with the discovery of a selective covalent modifier of adenosine deaminase (ADA). Targeting a cysteine distal to the active site, this molecule attenuates the enzymatic activity of ADA and inhibits proliferation of lymphocytic cells. This study introduces a modular and tunable SNAr-based reactive group for targeting reactive cysteines in the human proteome and illustrates the pharmacological utility of this electrophilic series.

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