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Tetrahydroisoquinoline CXCR4 Antagonists Adopt a Hybrid Binding Mode within the Peptide Subpocket of the CXCR4 Receptor

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journal contribution
posted on 30.11.2018, 00:00 by Brooke M. Katzman, Bryan D. Cox, Anthony R. Prosser, Ana A. Alcaraz, Brigitte Murat, Madeleine Héroux, Andrew Tebben, Yong Zhang, Gretchen M. Schroeder, James P. Snyder, Lawrence J. Wilson, Dennis C. Liotta
The rationale for the structural and mechanistic basis of a tetrahydroisoquinoline (THIQ) based series of CXCR4 antagonists is presented. Using the previously reported crystal structures which reveal two distinct binding sites of CXCR4 defined as the small molecule (IT1t or minor) binding pocket and peptide (CVX15 or major) binding pocket, we hypothesized our THIQ small molecule series could bind like either molecule in these respective receptor configurations (IT1t versus CVX15 based poses). To this end, a thorough investigation was performed through a combination of receptor mutation studies, medicinal chemistry, biological testing, conformational analysis, and flexible docking. Our findings showed that the CVX15 peptide-based CXCR4 receptor complexes (red pose) were consistently favored over the small molecule IT1t based CXCR4 receptor configurations (blue pose) to correctly explain the computational and mutational studies as well as key structural components of activity for these small molecules.