Binding of the anticancer drug BI-2536 to human serum albumin. A spectroscopic and theoretical study

BI-2536 is a potent Polo-like kinase inhibitor which induces apoptosis in diverse human cancer cell lines. The binding affinity of BI-2536 for human serum albumin (HSA) protein may define its pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profile. We have studied the binding of BI-2536 to HSA by means of different spectroscopic techniques and docking calculations. We have experimentally observed that the affinity of BI-2536 for HSA is higher than that of other common HSA binding drugs. Therefore, it can be postulated that the drug dose should be increased to achieve a certain concentration of free drug in plasma, although BI-2536could also reach tumour tissues by uptaking HSA/BI-2536 complex. Only a single binding site on HSA has been observed for BI-2536 which seems to correspond to the subdomain IIA pocket. The formation of the HSA/BI-2536 complex is a spontaneous and entropy-driven process that does not cause a significant change of the secondary structure of the protein. Its endothermic character could be related to proton release. Thermodynamic analysis showed that the main protein-drug interactions are of the van der Waals type although the presence of amide and ether groups in BI-2536 could also allow H-bonding with some residues in the subdomain IIA pocket.

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