Optimization of Peptidomimetics as Selective Inhibitors for the β-Catenin/T-Cell Factor Protein–Protein Interaction

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The β-catenin/T-cell factor (Tcf) protein–protein interaction (PPI) plays a critical role in the β-catenin signaling pathway which is hyperactivated in many cancers and fibroses. Based on compound 1, which was designed to target the Tcf4 G13ANDE17 binding site of β-catenin, extensive structure–activity relationship studies have been conducted. As a result, compounds 53 and 57 were found to disrupt the β-catenin/Tcf PPI with the Ki values of 0.64 and 0.44 μM, respectively, and exhibit good selectivity for β-catenin/Tcf over β-catenin/E-cadherin and β-catenin/adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) PPIs. The 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-carboxymethoxyphenyl)-2-(4-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium (MTS) cell viability assays revealed that 56, the ethyl ester of 53, was more potent than 53 in inhibiting viability of most of the Wnt/β-catenin hyperactive cancer cells. Further cell-based studies indicated that 56 disrupted the β-catenin/Tcf PPI without affecting the β-catenin/E-cadherin and β-catenin/APC PPIs, suppressed transactivation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in dose-dependent manners, and inhibited migration and invasiveness of Wnt/β-catenin-dependent cancer cells.

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Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, v. 62, issue 7, p. 3617-3635

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