Discovery of N-phenyl-4-(1H-pyrrol-3-yl)pyrimidin-2-amine Derivatives as Potent Mnk2 Inhibitors: Design, Synthesis, SAR Analysis, and Evaluation of in vitro Anti-leukaemic Activity

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Author(s): Ahmed M. Abdelaziz, Sarah Diab, Saiful Islam, Sunita K. C. Basnet, Ben Noll, Peng Li, Laychiluh B. Mekonnen, Jingfeng Lu, Hugo Albrecht, Robert W. Milne, Cobus Gerber, Mingfeng Yu *, Shudong Wang*.

Journal Name: Medicinal Chemistry

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Background: Aberrant expression of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E (eIF4E) is common in many types of cancer including acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). Phosphorylation of eIF4E by MAPK-interacting kinases (Mnks) is essential for the eIF4E-mediated oncogenic activity. As such, the pharmacological inhibition of Mnks can be an effective strategy for the treatment of cancer.

Methods: A series of N-phenyl-4-(1H-pyrrol-3-yl)pyrimidin-2-amine derivatives was designed and synthesised. The Mnk inhibitory activity of these derivatives as well as their anti-proliferative activity against MV4-11 AML cells was determined.

Results: These compounds were identified as potent Mnk2 inhibitors. Most of them demonstrated potent anti-proliferative activity against MV4-11 AML cells. The cellular mechanistic studies of the representative inhibitors revealed that they reduced the level of phosphorylated eIF4E and induced apoptosis by down-regulating the anti-apoptotic protein myeloid cell leukaemia 1 (Mcl-1) and by cleaving poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase (PARP). The lead compound 7k possessed desirable pharmacokinetic properties and oral bioavailability.

Conclusion: This work proposes that exploration of the structural diversity in the context of Nphenyl- 4-(1H-pyrrol-3-yl)pyrimidin-2-amine would offer potent and selective Mnk inhibitors.

Keywords: Mnk, eIF4E, Inhibitor, Structure-activity relationship, N-Phenyl-4-(1H-pyrrol-3-yl)pyrimidin-2-amine, Anti-leukaemia.

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(E-pub Ahead of Print)
DOI: 10.2174/1573406415666181219111511
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