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      Identification of a New Potent Inhibitor Targeting KRAS in Non-small Cell Lung Cancer Cells

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          Abstract

          KRAS (v-Ki-ras2 Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog) is an oncogenic driver with mutations in 30% of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, there is no effective clinical drug even though it has been identified as an oncogene for 30 years. In this study, we identified a small molecule inhibitor compound 0375-0604 targeting KRAS by using molecular docking based virtual screening approach. Compound 0375-0604 had a good binding affinity to KRAS in vitro and exhibited cytotoxicity in oncogenic KRAS expressing NSCLC cell lines. Further mechanism study showed that compound 0375-0604 can block the formation of the complex of guanosine triphosphate (GTP) and KRAS in vitro. In addition, compound 0375-0604 inhibited KRAS downstream signaling pathway RAF/MEK/ERK and RAF/PI3K/AKT. Finally, we also found that this compound can inhibit the cell growth through G2/M cell cycle arrest and induce apoptosis on the NSCLC cell lines harboring KRAS mutation. Therefore, compound 0375-0604 may be considered as a potential KRAS inhibitor for treatment of NSCLC carrying KRAS oncogene.

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          Most cited references 31

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          Small molecule inhibition of the KRAS-PDEδ interaction impairs oncogenic KRAS signalling.

          The KRAS oncogene product is considered a major target in anticancer drug discovery. However, direct interference with KRAS signalling has not yet led to clinically useful drugs. Correct localization and signalling by farnesylated KRAS is regulated by the prenyl-binding protein PDEδ, which sustains the spatial organization of KRAS by facilitating its diffusion in the cytoplasm. Here we report that interfering with binding of mammalian PDEδ to KRAS by means of small molecules provides a novel opportunity to suppress oncogenic RAS signalling by altering its localization to endomembranes. Biochemical screening and subsequent structure-based hit optimization yielded inhibitors of the KRAS-PDEδ interaction that selectively bind to the prenyl-binding pocket of PDEδ with nanomolar affinity, inhibit oncogenic RAS signalling and suppress in vitro and in vivo proliferation of human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cells that are dependent on oncogenic KRAS. Our findings may inspire novel drug discovery efforts aimed at the development of drugs targeting oncogenic RAS.
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            Targeting protein prenylation for cancer therapy.

            Protein farnesylation and geranylgeranylation, together referred to as prenylation, are lipid post-translational modifications that are required for the transforming activity of many oncogenic proteins, including some RAS family members. This observation prompted the development of inhibitors of farnesyltransferase (FT) and geranylgeranyl-transferase 1 (GGT1) as potential anticancer drugs. In this Review, we discuss the mechanisms by which FT and GGT1 inhibitors (FTIs and GGTIs, respectively) affect signal transduction pathways, cell cycle progression, proliferation and cell survival. In contrast to their preclinical efficacy, only a small subset of patients responds to FTIs. Identifying tumours that depend on farnesylation for survival remains a challenge, and strategies to overcome this are discussed. One GGTI has recently entered the clinic, and the safety and efficacy of GGTIs await results from clinical trials.
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              Small-molecule ligands bind to a distinct pocket in Ras and inhibit SOS-mediated nucleotide exchange activity.

              The Ras gene is frequently mutated in cancer, and mutant Ras drives tumorigenesis. Although Ras is a central oncogene, small molecules that bind to Ras in a well-defined manner and exert inhibitory effects have not been uncovered to date. Through an NMR-based fragment screen, we identified a group of small molecules that all bind to a common site on Ras. High-resolution cocrystal structures delineated a unique ligand-binding pocket on the Ras protein that is adjacent to the switch I/II regions and can be expanded upon compound binding. Structure analysis predicts that compound-binding interferes with the Ras/SOS interactions. Indeed, selected compounds inhibit SOS-mediated nucleotide exchange and prevent Ras activation by blocking the formation of intermediates of the exchange reaction. The discovery of a small-molecule binding pocket on Ras with functional significance provides a new direction in the search of therapeutically effective inhibitors of the Ras oncoprotein.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Front Pharmacol
                Front Pharmacol
                Front. Pharmacol.
                Frontiers in Pharmacology
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                1663-9812
                14 November 2017
                2017
                : 8
                Affiliations
                1State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, Macau Institute for Applied Research in Medicine and Health, Macau University of Science and Technology , Macau, China
                2State Key Laboratory of Applied Organic Chemistry and Department of Chemistry, Lanzhou University , Lanzhou, China
                Author notes

                Edited by: Leonardo G. Ferreira, University of São Paulo, Brazil

                Reviewed by: Andrea Ilari, Istituto di Biologia e Patologia Molecolari (CNR), Italy; Chakrabhavi Dhananjaya Mohan, University of Mysore, India

                *Correspondence: Liang Liu, lliu@ 123456must.edu.mo Elaine Lai-Han Leung, lhleung@ 123456must.edu.mo Xiao-Jun Yao, xjyao@ 123456must.edu.mo

                These authors have contributed equally to this work.

                This article was submitted to Experimental Pharmacology and Drug Discovery, a section of the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology

                Article
                10.3389/fphar.2017.00823
                5694459
                Copyright © 2017 Xie, Li, Li, Fan, Wang, Wei, Liu, Leung and Yao.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Page count
                Figures: 6, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 40, Pages: 8, Words: 0
                Categories
                Pharmacology
                Original Research

                Pharmacology & Pharmaceutical medicine

                kras, nsclc, small molecule inhibitor, molecular docking

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