Outside Publication

Structure-guided optimization of small molecule c-Abl activators, Journal of Computer-Aided Molecular Design

February 2014

c-Abl kinase is maintained in its normal inactive state in the cell through an assembled, compact conformation. We describe two chemical series that bind to the myristoyl site of the c-Abl kinase domain and stimulate c-Abl activation. We hypothesize that these molecules activate c-Abl either by blocking the C-terminal helix from adopting a bent conformation that is critical for the formation of the autoinhibited conformation or by simply providing no stabilizing interactions to the bent conformation of this helix. Structure-based molecular modeling guided the optimization of binding and activation of c-Abl of these two chemical series and led to the discovery of c-Abl activators with nanomolar potency. The small molecule c-Abl activators reported herein could be used as molecular tools to investigate the biological functions of c-Abl and therapeutic implications of its activation.