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Development of Macrocyclic Peptides Containing Epoxyketone with Oral Availability as Proteasome Inhibitors

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journal contribution
posted on 28.09.2018 by Daqiang Li, Xiaotuan Zhang, Xiaodong Ma, Lei Xu, Jianjun Yu, Lixin Gao, Xiaobei Hu, Jiankang Zhang, Xiaowu Dong, Jia Li, Tao Liu, Yubo Zhou, Yongzhou Hu
Macrocyclization has been frequently utilized for optimizing peptide or peptidomimetic-based compounds. In an attempt to obtain potent, metabolically stable, and orally available proteasome inhibitors, 30 oprozomib-derived macrocyclic peptides with structural diversity in their N-terminus and linker were successively designed and synthesized for structure–activity relationship (SAR) studies. As a consequence, the macrocyclic peptides with N-methyl-pyrazole (24p, 24x), imidazole (24t), and pyrazole (24v) as their respective N-termini exhibited favorable in vitro activity and metabolic stability, which translated into their potent in vivo proteasome inhibitory activity after oral administration. In particular, compound 24v, as the most distinguished one among this series, displayed excellent chymotrypsin-like (ChT-L, β5) inhibitory potency (IC50 = 16 nM), low nanomolar antiproliferative activity against all three of the tested cell lines, and superior metabolic stability in mouse liver microsome (MLM), as well as favorable inhibition against ChT-L compared to that of oprozomib in BABL/c mice following po administration at a comparatively low dose, thereby representing a promising candidate for further development.