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Studies leading to potent, dual inhibitors of Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL.

Bruncko M., Oost T.K., Belli B.A., Ding H., Joseph M.K., Kunzer A., Martineau D., McClellan W.J., Mitten M., Ng S.-C., Nimmer P.M., Oltersdorf T., Park C.-M., Petros A.M., Shoemaker A.R., Song X., Wang X., Wendt M.D., Zhang H., Fesik S.W., Rosenberg S.H., Elmore S.W.

Overexpression of the antiapototic proteins Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL provides a common mechanism through which cancer cells gain a survival advantage and become resistant to conventional chemotherapy. Inhibition of these prosurvival proteins is an attractive strategy for cancer therapy. We recently described the discovery of a selective Bcl-xL antagonist that potentiates the antitumor activity of chemotherapy and radiation. Here we describe the use of structure-guided design to exploit a deep hydrophobic binding pocket on the surface of these proteins to develop the first dual, subnanomolar inhibitors of Bcl-xL and Bcl-2. This study culminated in the identification of 2, which exhibited EC50 values of 8 nM and 30 nM in Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL dependent cells, respectively. Compound 2 demonstrated single agent efficacy against human follicular lymphoma cell lines that overexpress Bcl-2, and efficacy in a murine xenograft model of lymphoma when given both as a single agent and in combination with etoposide.

J. Med. Chem. 50:641-662(2007) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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