Identification of potent, cell active MTH1 inhibitors and their use in target validation studies

MTH1 is a protein that sanitizes oxidized dNTPs in the cell. It preferentially hydrolyzes 8-oxo-dGTP and 2-OH-dATP to their corresponding monophosphates and thereby prevents the incorporation of oxidized nucleotides into DNA or RNA. The functional result is a reduction in down-stream mutations, or DNA damage, thus preventing cell death. Recent publications suggest that MTH1 is a non-essential enzyme in normal cells, but is required for the survival of cancer cells as a consequence of being subjected to high levels of oxidative stress; hence its relevance as an oncology target. Gad et al., 2014
The interesting target rationale combined with a perceived high chemical tractability of the target resulting from availability of x-ray crystallographic information for the protein, led to a decision to undertake, in parallel, target validation, assay development and drug discovery. This effort resulted in the structure-based design of potent, cell active MTH1 small molecule inhibitors. This poster will describe the discovery and optimization of these inhibitors, and their use to evaluate the potential of MTH1 as an oncology target. This work was complemented by parallel genetic studies. Pharmacodynamic evaluation of target engagement using proximal biomarkers will be presented, as will phenotypic responses across a range of cancer cell lines.

Poster presented by Elisabetta Leo at the AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics (Boston, USA)

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