Structure-based virtual screening and optimization of modulators targeting Hsp90-Cdc37 interaction

Identification of novel Hsp90 inhibitors to disrupt Hsp90-Cdc37 protein-protein interaction (PPI) could be an alternative strategy to achieve Hsp90 inhibition. In this paper, a series of small molecules targeting Hsp90-Cdc37 complex are addressed and characterized. The molecules' key characters are determined by utilizing a structure-based virtual screening workflow, derivatives synthesis, and biological evaluation. Structural optimization and structure-activity relationship (SAR) analysis were then carried out on the virtual hit of VS-8 with potent activity, which resulted in the discovery of compound 10 as a more potent regulator of Hsp90-Cdc37 interaction with a promising inhibitory effect (IC50 = 27 μM), a moderate binding capacity (KD = 40 μM) and a preferable antiproliferative activity against several cancer lines including MCF-7, SKBR3 and A549 cell lines (IC50 = 26 μM, 15 μM and 38 μM respectively). All the data suggest that compound 10 exhibits moderate inhibitory effect on Hsp90-Cdc37 and could be regard as a first evidence of a non-natural compound targeting Hsp90-Cdc37 PPI.

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