Browsing by Author "Boije af Gennäs, Gustav"

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  • Boije af Gennäs, Gustav (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    The protein kinases (PKs) belong to the largest single family of enzymes, phosphotransferases, which catalyze the phosphorylation of other enzymes and proteins and function primarily in signal transduction. Consequently, PKs regulate cell mechanisms such as growth, differentiation, and proliferation. Dysfunction of these cellular mechanisms may lead to cancer, a major predicament in health care. Even though there is a range of clinically available cancer-fighting drugs, increasing number of cancer cases and setbacks such as drug resistance, constantly keep cancer research active. At the commencement of this study an isophthalic acid derivative had been suggested to bind to the regulatory domain of protein kinase C (PKC). In order to investigate the biological effects and structure-activity relationships (SARs) of this new chemical entity, a library of compounds was synthesized. The best compounds induced apoptosis in human leukemia HL-60 cells and were not cytotoxic in Swiss 3T3 fibroblasts. In addition, the best apoptosis inducers were neither cytotoxic nor mutagenic. Furthermore, results from binding affinity assays of PKC isoforms revealed the pharmacophores of these isophthalic acid derivatives. The best inhibition constants of the tested compounds were measured to 210 nM for PKCα and to 530 nM for PKCδ. Among natural compounds targeting the regulatory domain of PKC, the target of bistramide A has been a matter of debate. It was initially found to activate PKCδ; however, actin was recently reported as the main target. In order to clarify and to further study the biological effects of bistramide A, the total syntheses of the natural compound and two isomers were performed. Biological assays of the compounds revealed accumulation of 4n polyploid cells as the primary mode of action and the compounds showed similar overall antiproliferative activities. However, each compound showed a distinct distribution of antimitotic effect presumably via actin binding, proapoptotic effect presumably via PKCδ, and pro-differentiation effect as evidenced by CD11b expression. Furthermore, it was shown that the antimitotic and proapoptotic effects of bistramide A were not secondary effects of actin binding but independent effects. The third aim in this study was to synthesize a library of a new class of urea-based type II inhibitors targeted at the kinase domain of anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK). The best compounds in this library showed IC50 values as low as 390 nM for ALK while the initial low cellular activities were successfully increased even by more than 70 times for NPM-ALK- positive BaF3 cells. More importantly, selective antiproliferative activity on ALK-positive cell lines was achieved; while the best compound affected the BaF3 and SU-DHL-1 cells with IC50 values of 0.5 and 0.8 μM, respectively, they were less toxic to the NPM-ALK-negative human leukemic cells U937 (IC50 = 3.2 μM) and BaF3 parental cells (IC50 = 5.4 μM). Furthermore, SAR studies of the synthesized compounds revealed functional groups and positions of the scaffold, which enhanced the enzymatic and cellular activities.