Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a large family of zinc-dependent endoproteases known to exert multiple regulatory roles in tumor progression and invasiveness. This encouraged over the years the approach of MMP, and particularly MMP-2, targeting for anticancer treatment. Early generations of MMP inhibitors, based on aspecific zinc binding groups (ZBGs) assembled on (pseudo)peptide scaffolds, have been discontinued due to the clinical emergence of toxicity and further drawbacks, giving the way to inhibitors with alternative zinc-chelator moieties or not binding the catalytic zinc ion. In the present paper, we continue the search for new non-zinc binding MMP-2 inhibitors: exploiting previously identified compounds, a virtual screening (VS) campaign was carried out and led to the identification of a new class of ligands. The structure-activity relationship (SAR) of the benzimidazole scaffold was explored by synthesis of several analogues whose inhibition activity was tested with enzyme inhibition assays. By performing the molecular simplification approach, we disclosed different sets of single-digit micromolar inhibitors of MMP-2, with up to a ten-fold increase in inhibitory activity and ameliorated selectivity towards off-target MMP-8, compared to selected lead compound. Molecular dynamics calculations conducted on complexes of MMP-2 with docked privileged structures confirmed that analyzed inhibitors avoid targeting the zinc ion and dip inside the S1′ pocket. Present results provide a further enrichment of our insights for the design of novel MMP-2 selective inhibitors.

Virtual screening identification and chemical optimization of substituted 2-arylbenzimidazoles as new non-zinc-binding MMP-2 inhibitors

Luisi G.;Agamennone M.
;
2020

Abstract

Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a large family of zinc-dependent endoproteases known to exert multiple regulatory roles in tumor progression and invasiveness. This encouraged over the years the approach of MMP, and particularly MMP-2, targeting for anticancer treatment. Early generations of MMP inhibitors, based on aspecific zinc binding groups (ZBGs) assembled on (pseudo)peptide scaffolds, have been discontinued due to the clinical emergence of toxicity and further drawbacks, giving the way to inhibitors with alternative zinc-chelator moieties or not binding the catalytic zinc ion. In the present paper, we continue the search for new non-zinc binding MMP-2 inhibitors: exploiting previously identified compounds, a virtual screening (VS) campaign was carried out and led to the identification of a new class of ligands. The structure-activity relationship (SAR) of the benzimidazole scaffold was explored by synthesis of several analogues whose inhibition activity was tested with enzyme inhibition assays. By performing the molecular simplification approach, we disclosed different sets of single-digit micromolar inhibitors of MMP-2, with up to a ten-fold increase in inhibitory activity and ameliorated selectivity towards off-target MMP-8, compared to selected lead compound. Molecular dynamics calculations conducted on complexes of MMP-2 with docked privileged structures confirmed that analyzed inhibitors avoid targeting the zinc ion and dip inside the S1′ pocket. Present results provide a further enrichment of our insights for the design of novel MMP-2 selective inhibitors.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11564/715594
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