Backgound: Vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 (VEGFR-2) plays a crucial role in the process of cancer angiogenesis. Type I inhibitors constitute the major ATP-competitive inhibitors and recognize mainly the active conformation of VEGFR-2. Meanwhile, type II inhibitors recognize the inactive DFG (Asp- Phe-Gly)-out conformation of VEGFR-2, which was a more promising approach for drug intervention.
Methods: According to the lead compound of uracil skeleton, being screened out by structure-based virtual screening, a series of uracil derivatives were designed and synthesized. Results: The inhibitory activities were investigated against VEGFR-2 kinase in vitro. The results turned out that series A performed moderate inhibitory activities, especially compound A4 exhibited the most potent inhibitory activity (IC50=0.029 µM).
Conclusion: The lead compound was screened out by structure-based pharmacophore models, then two series of uracil derivatives were synthesized according to it and evaluated for their inhibitory activities against VEGFR-2. In this study, not only a potential inhibitor has been discovered, it also demonstrates the feasibility of structure-based virtual screening method for drug discovery.