Heat shock protein 70 inhibitors. 1. 2,5′-thiodipyrimidine and 5-(phenylthio)pyrimidine acrylamides as irreversible binders to an allosteric site on heat shock protein 70
HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins
Heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) is an important emerging cancer target whose inhibition may affect multiple cancer-associated signaling pathways and, moreover, result in significant cancer cell apoptosis. Despite considerable interest from both academia and pharmaceutical companies in the discovery and development of druglike Hsp70 inhibitors, little success has been reported so far. Here we describe structure-activity relationship studies in the first rationally designed Hsp70 inhibitor class that binds to a novel allosteric pocket located in the N-terminal domain of the protein. These 2,5'-thiodipyrimidine and 5-(phenylthio)pyrimidine acrylamides take advantage of an active cysteine embedded in the allosteric pocket to act as covalent protein modifiers upon binding. The study identifies derivatives 17a and 20a, which selectively bind to Hsp70 in cancer cells. Addition of high nanomolar to low micromolar concentrations of these inhibitors to cancer cells leads to a reduction in the steady-state levels of Hsp70-sheltered oncoproteins, an effect associated with inhibition of cancer cell growth and apoptosis. In summary, the described scaffolds represent a viable starting point for the development of druglike Hsp70 inhibitors as novel anticancer therapeutics.