An evaluation of indirubin analogues as phosphorylase kinase inhibitors
AuthorBegum, J.; Skamnaki, V. T.; Moffatt, C.; Bischler, N.; Sarrou, J.; Skaltsounis, A. L.; Leonidas, D. D.; Oikonomakos, N. G.; Hayes, J. M.
Phosphorylase kinase (PhK) has been linked with a number of conditions such as glycogen storage diseases, psoriasis, type 2 diabetes and more recently, cancer (Camus et al., 2012 ). However, with few reported structural studies on PhK inhibitors, this hinders a structure based drug design approach. In this study, the inhibitory potential of 38 indirubin analogues have been investigated. 11 of these ligands had IC<inf>50</inf> values in the range 0.170-0.360 μM, with indirubin-3′-acetoxime (1c) the most potent. 7-Bromoindirubin-3′-oxime (13b), an antitumor compound which induces caspase-independent cell-death (Ribas et al., 2006 ) is revealed as a specific inhibitor of PhK (IC<inf>50</inf> = 1.8 μM). Binding assay experiments performed using both PhK-holo and PhK-γtrnc confirmed the inhibitory effects to arise from binding at the kinase domain (γ subunit). High level computations using QM/MM-PBSA binding free energy calculations were in good agreement with experimental binding data, as determined using statistical analysis, and support binding at the ATP-binding site. The value of a QM description for the binding of halogenated ligands exhibiting σ-hole effects is highlighted. A new statistical metric, the 'sum of the modified logarithm of ranks' (SMLR), has been defined which measures performance of a model for both the "early recognition" (ranking earlier/higher) of active compounds and their relative ordering by potency. Through a detailed structure activity relationship analysis considering other kinases (CDK2, CDK5 and GSK-3α/β), 6′(Z) and 7(L) indirubin substitutions have been identified to achieve selective PhK inhibition. The key PhK binding site residues involved can also be targeted using other ligand scaffolds in future work. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.