From sphingosine kinase to dihydroceramide desaturase: a structure-activity relationship (SAR) study of the enzyme inhibitory and anticancer activity of 4-((4-(4-chlorophenyl)thiazol-2-yl)amino)phenol (SKI-II)

Luigi Aurelio, Carmen V. Scullino, Melissa R. Pitman, Anna E Sexton, Victoria Oliver, Lorena Davies, Richard J. Rebello, Luc Furic, Darren J Creek, Stuart M. Pitson, Bernard L. Flynn

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39 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The sphingosine kinase (SK) inhibitor, SKI-II, has been employed extensively in biological investigations of the role of SK1 and SK2 in disease and has demonstrated impressive anticancer activity in vitro and in vivo. However, interpretations of results using this pharmacological agent are complicated by several factors: poor SK1/2 selectivity, additional activity as an inducer of SK1-degradation, and off-target effects, including its recently identified capacity to inhibit dihydroceramide desaturase-1 (Des1). In this study, we have delineated the structure-activity relationship (SAR) for these different targets and correlated them to that required for anticancer activity and determined that Des1 inhibition is primarily responsible for the antiproliferative effects of SKI-II and its analogues. In the course of these efforts, a series of novel SK1, SK2, and Des1 inhibitors have been generated, including compounds with significantly greater anticancer activity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)965-984
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Medicinal Chemistry
Volume59
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Feb 2016

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