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Title: Small molecule inhibitors of Mdm2 E3 ubiquitin ligase activity
Author: Dickens, Michael
ISNI:       0000 0004 2709 5185
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2011
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Half of cancers retain wild type p53 but have alterations in the pathways involved in p53 regulation. Murine double minute 2 (Mdm2) regulates p53 by acting as an E3 ubiquitin ligase, which tags p53 for degradation through the proteasome. A small molecule inhibitor, a 5-deazaflavin analogue, has previously been identified by high throughput screening to inhibit Mdm2 E3 ubiquitin ligase activity, thereby reactivating apoptotic function of p53 selectively in cancer cells. Ninety 5-deazaflavin analogues have been synthesised by an optimized existing method and a novel method of synthesis, using the required 6-anilinouracil and 2-p-toluenesulfonyloxybenzaldehyde.The biological ability of the 5-deazaflavin analogues to act as inhibitors of Mdm2 E3 ubiquitin ligase activity to reactivate p53 has been ascertained. A new quantitative biological assay was developed, by scientists based at the Beatson Institute, for 5-deazaflavin compounds, showing excellent inhibition of Mdm2 E3 ubiquitin ligase activity on the previous qualitative biological assay, to yield IC50 data. The biological results have established a clear and logical structure-activity relationship comprising of an electron-withdrawing hydrophobic substituent at the nine position and the N10 phenyl being a prerequisite for activity as a Mdm2 inhibitor. Also meta substitution of the N10 phenyl improves activity against Mdm2 E3 ubiquitin ligase activity. Hit optimization has occurred with 10-(3-chlorophenyl)-9-trifluoromethyl-5-deazaflavin being thirty times more active than the previous identified hit compound, 10-(4-chlorophenyl)-7-nitro-5-deazaflavin. Using the X-ray crystal structure of the Mdm2/MdmX heterodimer, an improved understanding of how Mdm2 acts as an E3 ubiquitin ligase is described and used to form a hypothesis of how 5-deazaflavin analogues function as inhibitors of Mdm2. The work suggests the principle that small molecular weight compounds can inhibit E3 ubiquitin ligases as a possible anti-cancer therapy, and provide the foundation and framework for additional studies and investigation in a new and developing field of medicinal chemistry.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QP501 Animal biochemistry