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Title: Towards the synthesis of selective CDK7 inhibitors as potential anti-cancer drugs
Author: Kroll, Sebastian Herbert Benjamin
ISNI:       0000 0004 2741 481X
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2011
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Cyclin-dependent kinase 7 (CDK7) exhibits an interesting target for an anti-cancer therapy approach. CDK7’s triple role in phosphorylation (cell cycle, transcription, estrogen receptor (ER)) in cell regulation makes this kinase interesting. Phosphorylation of cell cycle CDK’s via its CAK-complex, of Ser-5 in RNA-PolII as part of the TFIIH-complex and phosphorylation of Ser-118 in ER all show the importance of this enzyme. Given that CDKs are over-expressed in many cancers, selective inhibition of CDK7 should result in cell cycle arrest and apoptosis predominately in tumour cells. Previously, BS-181 (Figure 0.1) has been reported as the first CDK7 selective inhibitor, which displayed a good in vitro and in vivo profile.1 Based on this initial lead compound, a library of rational-designed analogues was synthesised. Much of this library was based on a computer-aided-drug-design (CADD) approach by docking, which gave valuable insights in possible binding modes and helped to focus targeting the whole active site. [Molecular structure diagrams appear here. To view, please open pdf attachment] Figure 0.1: BS-181 and new analogues. Several of these novel inhibitors showed excellent selectivity versus CDK2 in particular, and potency against CDK7 in the 30 – 60 nM range for their IC50-values. Cellular assays confirmed the growth inhibitory properties of these new compounds, with GI50-values in the low μM range. This work also demonstrates what functional groups were tolerated in the 3-,5- and 7-position.
Supervisor: Barrett, Anthony Sponsor: Cancer Research UK
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available