REPLACE: A strategy for iterative design of cyclin-binding groove inhibitors
AuthorAndrews, M. J. I.; Kontopidis, G.; McInnes, C.; Plater, A.; Innes, L.; Cowan, A.; Jewsbury, P.; Fischer, P. M.
We describe a drug-design strategy termed REPLACE (REplacement with Partial Ligand Alternatives through Computational Enrichment) in which nonpeptidic surrogates for specific determinants of known peptide ligands are identified in silico by using a core peptide-bound protein structure as a design anchor. In the REPLACE application example, we present the effective replacement of two critical binding motifs in a lead protein-protein interaction inhibitor pentapeptide with more druglike phenyltriazole and diphenyl ether groups. These were identified through docking of fragment libraries into the volume of the cyclin-binding groove of CDK2/cyclin A vacated through truncation of the inhibitor peptide-binding determinants. Proof of concept for this strategy was obtained through the generation of potent peptide-small-molecule hybrids and by the confirmation of inhibitor-binding modes in X-ray crystal structures. This method therefore allows nonpeptide fragments to be identified without the requirement for a high-sensitivity binding assay and should be generally applicable in replacing amino acids as individual residues or groups in peptide inhibitors to generate pharmaceutically acceptable lead molecules. © 2006 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.