Developing 1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-5H-aryl[1,4]diazepin-5-ones and Related Scaffolds as Poly-(ADP-ribosyl) Polymerase (PARP) Inhibitors and Exploring Their Targeted Polypharmacology with Kinases

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Virginia Tech


Poly-(ADP-ribsoyl) Polymerases (PARPs) are a superfamily of enzymes comprised of 17 known isoforms. PARP inhibitors (PARPi) have shown success in clinical trials for the treatment of homologous recombination-deficient cancers. Though proven effective initially, tumors treated with PARPi eventually develop resistance. Combinatorial therapeutics targeting PARP and other pathways that may re-sensitize tumors to PARP inhibition, including PI3K/AKT/mTor pathway, and cell-cycle checkpoints (such as CDKs, CHK, and Wee) are being tested. In this context, the synthetic lethality of cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (CDK1) and PARP1 is known.

Evaluation of PARP1 and CDK1 pharmacophores led to the development of the tetrahydro-arylazepinone (TAAP) scaffold as a potential dual PARP1/CDK1 inhibitor. We screened a handful of TAAP analogs against PARP1 in a cell-free assay that identified the low micromolar PARP1 inhibitor 1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-5H-benzo[e][1,4]-diazepin-5-one (TBAP), which served as the lead compound. The analogous 1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-5H-pyrido[2,3-e][1,4]-diazepin-5-one (TPAP) series showed a similar bioactivity profile. Satisfyingly, the N1-benzyl TPAP analogue showed activity in the low nanomolar range. The TAAP series (i.e., 6/7-membered scaffold) unfortunately lacked CDK1 inhibitory activity.

Finally, many PARPi's show poor isoform-selectivity. The development of isoform-selective PARPi can clarify the specific function of each PARP isoform and may reduce the adverse side effects shown by PARPi. A handful of TAAP analogs were screened against 13 PARP isoforms, where some compounds demonstrated exquisite PARP1/2 selectivity. Concurrently, we discovered an inhibitor for PARP11, an isoform that lacks any known synthetic ligand. Future directions are suggested towards fine-tuning the structure-activity relationship of TAAP-isoform selective PARPi as well as developing a dual PARP1/CDK1 inhibitor.



Poly-(ADP-Ribosyl) Polymerase (PARP), cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (CDK1), triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), benzodiazepines, isoform specific inhibitors