Novel colchicine-site binders with a cyclohexanedione scaffold identified through a ligand-based virtual screening approach
Canela, María-Dolores × Pérez-Pérez, María-Jesús Noppen, Sam Sáez-Calvo, Gonzalo Díaz, J Fernando Camarasa, María-José Liekens, Sandra Priego, Eva-María #
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry vol:57 issue:10 pages:3924-38
Vascular disrupting agents (VDAs) constitute an innovative anticancer therapy that targets the tumor endothelium, leading to tumor necrosis. Our approach for the identification of new VDAs has relied on a ligand 3-D shape similarity virtual screening (VS) approach using the ROCS program as the VS tool and as query colchicine and TN-16, which both bind the α,β-tubulin dimer. One of the hits identified, using TN-16 as query, has been explored by the synthesis of its structural analogues, leading to 2-(1-((2-methoxyphenyl)amino)ethylidene)-5-phenylcyclohexane-1,3-dione (compound 16c) with an IC50 = 0.09 ± 0.01 μM in HMEC-1 and BAEC, being 100-fold more potent than the initial hit. Compound 16c caused cell cycle arrest in the G2/M phase and interacted with the colchicine-binding site in tubulin, as confirmed by a competition assay with N,N'-ethylenebis(iodoacetamide) and by fluorescence spectroscopy. Moreover, 16c destroyed an established endothelial tubular network at 1 μM and inhibited the migration and invasion of human breast carcinoma cells at 0.4 μM. In conclusion, our approach has led to a new chemotype of promising antiproliferative compounds with antimitotic and potential VDA properties.