Affiliation: Cancer Cell Laboratory,Department of Biological Sciences, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge,Alberta, T1K 3M4 Canada.
Protein kinases are important enzymes in solid tumour and leukaemia pathologies. Their structures are well understood at the atomic level and their key role in the progression of certain cancers makes them valuable targets for anti-cancer therapy. Through medicinal chemical approaches, we developed an efficient preparative stereospecific synthesis of N12, N13 pyran-bridged indolocarbazoles that opens access to functional diversity within this previously challenging series. We focused upon the indolocarbazole class of chemical inhibitors, which includes S27888, an inhibitor we previously identified. We used biochemical and cell-based assays to identify small molecule inhibitors of Checkpoint kinase 1 (Chk1), a serine/threonine protein kinase that is activated when cancer cells are treated with genotoxic agents. These compounds show a promising inhibitory profile on Chk1. Furthermore, these compounds are active against FLT3, which is a tyrosine kinase that is frequently activated in human leukaemias. These data suggest that this chemical class may provide a source of therapeutic compounds for a broad range of human cancers.