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Special Issue "Kinase Inhibitors 2021"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Medicinal Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Pascal Marchand
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Université de Nantes, Cibles et médicaments des infections et du cancer, IICiMed, EA 1155, F-44000 Nantes, France
Interests: design; synthesis and biological evaluation of heterocyclic compounds for therapeutic purposes (mycology, parasitology, and cancer); inhibitors of kinase signaling pathways; ADMET properties of molecules of biological interest
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

 In the last decade, about 300 protein kinase inhibitors have been involved in clinical trials and 49 were recently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), mostly tyrosine kinase inhibitors, and mainly for cancer therapy. In the same period, targeting kinase pathways has emerged as a promising strategy in the fight against infectious diseases that are caused by pathogenic microbes such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, or fungi. Protein kinase inhibitors were also considered as potential drugs to combat CNS disorders.

This Special Issue will showcase the recent trends in the field of drug discovery of kinase inhibitors. In addition, review articles, research articles, and short communications will highlight the efforts of medicinal chemists to propose new molecules endowed with kinase inhibition properties and the strategies to enhance the activity profile of the existing pipeline.

Repurposing human kinase inhibitors also gained attention to create new active compounds.

Prof. Dr. Pascal Marchand
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Molecules is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • protein kinase inhibitors
  • medicinal chemistry
  • cancer
  • infectious diseases
  • CNS disorders
  • repurposing approach
  • ATP-competitive
  • allosteric inhibitors

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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Article
Synthesis of Novel Halogenated Heterocycles Based on o-Phenylenediamine and Their Interactions with the Catalytic Subunit of Protein Kinase CK2
Molecules 2021, 26(11), 3163; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/molecules26113163 - 25 May 2021
Viewed by 289
Abstract
Protein kinase CK2 is a highly pleiotropic protein kinase capable of phosphorylating hundreds of protein substrates. It is involved in numerous cellular functions, including cell viability, apoptosis, cell proliferation and survival, angiogenesis, or ER-stress response. As CK2 activity is found perturbed in many [...] Read more.
Protein kinase CK2 is a highly pleiotropic protein kinase capable of phosphorylating hundreds of protein substrates. It is involved in numerous cellular functions, including cell viability, apoptosis, cell proliferation and survival, angiogenesis, or ER-stress response. As CK2 activity is found perturbed in many pathological states, including cancers, it becomes an attractive target for the pharma. A large number of low-mass ATP-competitive inhibitors have already been developed, the majority of them halogenated. We tested the binding of six series of halogenated heterocyclic ligands derived from the commercially available 4,5-dihalo-benzene-1,2-diamines. These ligand series were selected to enable the separation of the scaffold effect from the hydrophobic interactions attributed directly to the presence of halogen atoms. In silico molecular docking was initially applied to test the capability of each ligand for binding at the ATP-binding site of CK2. HPLC-derived ligand hydrophobicity data are compared with the binding affinity assessed by low-volume differential scanning fluorimetry (nanoDSF). We identified three promising ligand scaffolds, two of which have not yet been described as CK2 inhibitors but may lead to potent CK2 kinase inhibitors. The inhibitory activity against CK2α and toxicity against four reference cell lines have been determined for eight compounds identified as the most promising in nanoDSF assay. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Kinase Inhibitors 2021)
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Article
Identification of Vinyl Sulfone Derivatives as EGFR Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor: In Vitro and In Silico Studies
Molecules 2021, 26(8), 2211; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/molecules26082211 - 12 Apr 2021
Viewed by 431
Abstract
Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), overexpressed in many types of cancer, has been proved as a high potential target for targeted cancer therapy due to its role in regulating proliferation and survival of cancer cells. In the present study, a series of designed [...] Read more.
Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), overexpressed in many types of cancer, has been proved as a high potential target for targeted cancer therapy due to its role in regulating proliferation and survival of cancer cells. In the present study, a series of designed vinyl sulfone derivatives was screened against EGFR tyrosine kinase (EGFR-TK) using in silico and in vitro studies. The molecular docking results suggested that, among 78 vinyl sulfones, there were eight compounds that could interact well with the EGFR-TK at the ATP-binding site. Afterwards, these screened compounds were tested for the inhibitory activity towards EGFR-TK using ADP-Glo™ kinase assay, and we found that only VF16 compound exhibited promising inhibitory activity against EGFR-TK with the IC50 value of 7.85 ± 0.88 nM. In addition, VF16 showed a high cytotoxicity with IC50 values of 33.52 ± 2.57, 54.63 ± 0.09, and 30.38 ± 1.37 µM against the A431, A549, and H1975 cancer cell lines, respectively. From 500-ns MD simulation, the structural stability of VF16 in complex with EGFR-TK was quite stable, suggesting that this compound could be a novel small molecule inhibitor targeting EGFR-TK. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Kinase Inhibitors 2021)
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Article
Suramin Targets the Conserved Ligand-Binding Pocket of Human Raf1 Kinase Inhibitory Protein
Molecules 2021, 26(4), 1151; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/molecules26041151 - 21 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 464
Abstract
Suramin was initially used to treat African sleeping sickness and has been clinically tested to treat human cancers and HIV infection in the recent years. However, the therapeutic index is low with numerous clinical side-effects, attributed to its diverse interactions with multiple biological [...] Read more.
Suramin was initially used to treat African sleeping sickness and has been clinically tested to treat human cancers and HIV infection in the recent years. However, the therapeutic index is low with numerous clinical side-effects, attributed to its diverse interactions with multiple biological macromolecules. Here, we report a novel binding target of suramin, human Raf1 kinase inhibitory protein (hRKIP), which is an important regulatory protein involved in the Ras/Raf1/MEK/ERK (MAPK) signal pathway. Biolayer interference technology showed that suramin had an intermediate affinity for binding hRKIP with a dissociation constant of 23.8 µM. Both nuclear magnetic resonance technology and molecular docking analysis revealed that suramin bound to the conserved ligand-binding pocket of hRKIP, and that residues K113, W173, and Y181 play crucial roles in hRKIP binding suramin. Furthermore, suramin treatment at 160 µM could profoundly increase the ERK phosphorylation level by around 3 times. Our results indicate that suramin binds to hRKIP and prevents hRKIP from binding with hRaf1, thus promoting the MAPK pathway. This work is beneficial to both mechanistically understanding the side-effects of suramin and efficiently improving the clinical applications of suramin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Kinase Inhibitors 2021)
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Article
Cytotoxic Fractions from Hechtia glomerata Extracts and p-Coumaric Acid as MAPK Inhibitors
Molecules 2021, 26(4), 1096; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/molecules26041096 - 19 Feb 2021
Viewed by 690
Abstract
Preliminary bioassay-guided fractionation was performed to identify cytotoxic compounds from Hechtia glomerata, a plant that is used in Mexican ethnomedicine. Organic and aqueous extracts were prepared from H. glomerata’s leaves and evaluated against two cancer cell lines. The CHCl3/MeOH [...] Read more.
Preliminary bioassay-guided fractionation was performed to identify cytotoxic compounds from Hechtia glomerata, a plant that is used in Mexican ethnomedicine. Organic and aqueous extracts were prepared from H. glomerata’s leaves and evaluated against two cancer cell lines. The CHCl3/MeOH (1:1) active extract was fractionated, and the resulting fractions were assayed against prostate adenocarcinoma PC3 and breast adenocarcinoma MCF7 cell lines. Active fraction 4 was further analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography–quadrupole time-of-flight–mass spectrometry analysis to identify its active constituents. Among the compounds that were responsible for the cytotoxic effects of this fraction were flavonoids, phenolic acids, and aromatic compounds, of which p-coumaric acid (p-CA) and its derivatives were abundant. To understand the mechanisms that underlie p-CA cytotoxicity, a microarray assay was performed on PC3 cells that were treated or not with this compound. The results showed that mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) that regulate many cancer-related pathways were targeted by p-CA, which could be related to the reported effects of reactive oxygen species (ROS). A molecular docking study of p-CA showed that this phenolic acid targeted these protein active sites (MAPK8 and Serine/Threonine protein kinase 3) at the same binding site as their inhibitors. Thus, we hypothesize that p-CA produces ROS, directly affects the MAPK signaling pathway, and consequently causes apoptosis, among other effects. Additionally, p-CA could be used as a platform for the design of new MAPK inhibitors and re-sensitizing agents for resistant cancers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Kinase Inhibitors 2021)
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Article
5-Methoxybenzothiophene-2-Carboxamides as Inhibitors of Clk1/4: Optimization of Selectivity and Cellular Potency
Molecules 2021, 26(4), 1001; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/molecules26041001 - 13 Feb 2021
Viewed by 841
Abstract
Clks have been shown by recent studies to be promising targets for cancer therapy, as they are considered key regulators in the process of pre-mRNA splicing, which in turn affects every aspect of tumor biology. In particular, Clk1 and -4 are overexpressed in [...] Read more.
Clks have been shown by recent studies to be promising targets for cancer therapy, as they are considered key regulators in the process of pre-mRNA splicing, which in turn affects every aspect of tumor biology. In particular, Clk1 and -4 are overexpressed in several human tumors. Most of the potent Clk1 inhibitors reported in the literature are non-selective, mainly showing off-target activity towards Clk2, Dyrk1A and Dyrk1B. Herein, we present new 5-methoxybenzothiophene-2-carboxamide derivatives with unprecedented selectivity. In particular, the introduction of a 3,5-difluoro benzyl extension to the methylated amide led to the discovery of compound 10b (cell-free IC50 = 12.7 nM), which was four times more selective for Clk1 over Clk2 than the previously published flagship compound 1b. Moreover, 10b showed an improved growth inhibitory activity with T24 cells (GI50 = 0.43 µM). Furthermore, a new binding model in the ATP pocket of Clk1 was developed based on the structure-activity relationships derived from new rigidified analogues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Kinase Inhibitors 2021)
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Article
New Quinoxaline Derivatives as Dual Pim-1/2 Kinase Inhibitors: Design, Synthesis and Biological Evaluation
Molecules 2021, 26(4), 867; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/molecules26040867 - 06 Feb 2021
Viewed by 775
Abstract
Proviral integration site for Moloney murine leukemia virus (Pim)-1/2 kinase overexpression has been identified in a variety of hematologic (e.g., multiple myeloma or acute myeloid leukemia (AML)) and solid (e.g., colorectal carcinoma) tumors, playing a key role in cancer progression, metastasis, and drug [...] Read more.
Proviral integration site for Moloney murine leukemia virus (Pim)-1/2 kinase overexpression has been identified in a variety of hematologic (e.g., multiple myeloma or acute myeloid leukemia (AML)) and solid (e.g., colorectal carcinoma) tumors, playing a key role in cancer progression, metastasis, and drug resistance, and is linked to poor prognosis. These kinases are thus considered interesting targets in oncology. We report herein the design, synthesis, structure–activity relationships (SAR) and in vitro evaluations of new quinoxaline derivatives, acting as dual Pim1/2 inhibitors. Two lead compounds (5c and 5e) were then identified, as potent submicromolar Pim-1 and Pim-2 inhibitors. These molecules were also able to inhibit the growth of the two human cell lines, MV4-11 (AML) and HCT-116 (colorectal carcinoma), expressing high endogenous levels of Pim-1/2 kinases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Kinase Inhibitors 2021)
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Communication
A New CDK2 Inhibitor with 3-Hydrazonoindolin-2-One Scaffold Endowed with Anti-Breast Cancer Activity: Design, Synthesis, Biological Evaluation, and In Silico Insights
Molecules 2021, 26(2), 412; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/molecules26020412 - 14 Jan 2021
Viewed by 693
Abstract
Background: Cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) regulate mammalian cell cycle progression and RNA transcription. Based on the structural analysis of previously reported CDK2 inhibitors, a new compound with 3-hydrazonoindolin-2-one scaffold (HI 5) was well designed, synthesized, and biologically evaluated as a promising anti-breast [...] Read more.
Background: Cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) regulate mammalian cell cycle progression and RNA transcription. Based on the structural analysis of previously reported CDK2 inhibitors, a new compound with 3-hydrazonoindolin-2-one scaffold (HI 5) was well designed, synthesized, and biologically evaluated as a promising anti-breast cancer hit compound. Methods: The potential anti-cancerous effect of HI 5 was evaluated using cytotoxicity assay, flow cytometric analysis of apoptosis and cell cycle distribution, ELISA immunoassay, in vitro CDK2/cyclin A2 activity, and molecular operating environment (MOE) virtual docking studies. Results: The results revealed that HI 5 exhibits pronounced CDK2 inhibitory activity and cytotoxicity in human breast cancer MCF-7 cell line. The cytotoxicity of HI 5 was found to be intrinsically mediated apoptosis, which in turn, is associated with low Bcl-2 expression and high activation of caspase 3 and p53. Besides, HI 5 blocked the proliferation of the MCF-7 cell line and arrested the cell cycle at the G2/M phase. The docking studies did not confirm which one of geometric isomers (syn and anti) is responsible for binding affinity and intrinsic activity of HI 5. However, the molecular dynamic studies have confirmed that the syn-isomer has more favorable binding interaction and thus is responsible for CDK2 inhibitory activity. Discussion: These findings displayed a substantial basis of synthesizing further derivatives based on the 3-hydrazonoindolin-2-one scaffold for favorable targeting of breast cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Kinase Inhibitors 2021)
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Article
Design, Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Arylpyridin-2-yl Guanidine Derivatives and Cyclic Mimetics as Novel MSK1 Inhibitors. An Application in an Asthma Model
Molecules 2021, 26(2), 391; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/molecules26020391 - 13 Jan 2021
Viewed by 702
Abstract
Mitogen- and Stress-Activated Kinase 1 (MSK1) is a nuclear kinase, taking part in the activation pathway of the pro-inflammatory transcription factor NF-kB and is demonstrating a therapeutic target potential in inflammatory diseases such as asthma, psoriasis and atherosclerosis. To date, few MSK1 inhibitors [...] Read more.
Mitogen- and Stress-Activated Kinase 1 (MSK1) is a nuclear kinase, taking part in the activation pathway of the pro-inflammatory transcription factor NF-kB and is demonstrating a therapeutic target potential in inflammatory diseases such as asthma, psoriasis and atherosclerosis. To date, few MSK1 inhibitors were reported. In order to identify new MSK1 inhibitors, a screening of a library of low molecular weight compounds was performed, and the results highlighted the 6-phenylpyridin-2-yl guanidine (compound 1a, IC50~18 µM) as a starting hit for structure-activity relationship study. Derivatives, homologues and rigid mimetics of 1a were designed, and all synthesized compounds were evaluated for their inhibitory activity towards MSK1. Among them, the non-cytotoxic 2-aminobenzimidazole 49d was the most potent at inhibiting significantly: (i) MSK1 activity, (ii) the release of IL-6 in inflammatory conditions in vitro (IC50~2 µM) and (iii) the inflammatory cell recruitment to the airways in a mouse model of asthma. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Kinase Inhibitors 2021)
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Review

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Review
Plasmodial Kinase Inhibitors Targeting Malaria: Recent Developments
Molecules 2020, 25(24), 5949; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/molecules25245949 - 15 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 851
Abstract
Recent progress in reducing malaria cases and ensuing deaths is threatened by factors like mutations that induce resistance to artemisinin derivatives. Multiple drugs are currently in clinical trials for malaria treatment, including some with novel mechanisms of action. One of these, MMV390048, is [...] Read more.
Recent progress in reducing malaria cases and ensuing deaths is threatened by factors like mutations that induce resistance to artemisinin derivatives. Multiple drugs are currently in clinical trials for malaria treatment, including some with novel mechanisms of action. One of these, MMV390048, is a plasmodial kinase inhibitor. This review lists the recently developed molecules which target plasmodial kinases. A systematic review of the literature was performed using CAPLUS and MEDLINE databases from 2005 to 2020. It covers a total of 60 articles and describes about one hundred compounds targeting 22 plasmodial kinases. This work highlights the strong potential of compounds targeting plasmodial kinases for future drug therapies. However, the majority of the Plasmodium kinome remains to be explored. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Kinase Inhibitors 2021)
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