Identification of small molecule inhibitors against MMP-14 via High-Throughput screening

Hyun Lee, Isoo Youn, Robel Demissie, Tasneem M Vaid, Chun-Tao Che, Dimitri T Azar, Kyu-Yeon Han
Bioorg Med Chem Volume 85, 1 May 2023, 117289 (2023)

Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are involved in various cellular events in physiology and pathophysiology through endopeptidases activity.

The expression levels and activities of most MMPs remain minimal in the normal conditions, whereas some MMPs are significantly activated in pathological conditions such as cancer and neovascularization. Hence, MMPs are considered as both diagnostic markers and potential targets for therapeutic agents. Twenty-three known human MMPs share a similar active site structure with a zinc-binding motif, resulting in lack of specificity. Therefore, the enhancement of target specificity is a primary goal for the development of specific MMP inhibitors. MMP-14 regulates VEGFA/VEGFR2-system through cleavage of the non-functional VEGFR1 in vascular angiogenesis. In this study, we developed a fluorescence-based enzymatic assay using a specific MMP-14 substrate generated from VEGFR1 cleavage site. This well optimized assay was used as a primary screen method to identify MMP-14 specific inhibitors from 1,200 Prestwick FDA-approved drug library. Of ten initial hits, two compounds showed IC50 values below 30 µM, which were further validated by direct binding analysis using surface plasmon resonance (SPR). Clioquinol and chloroxine, both of which contain a quinoline structure, were identified as MMP-14 inhibitors. Five analogs were tested, four of which were found to be completely devoid of inhibitory activity. Clioquinol exhibited selectivity towards MMP-14, as it showed no inhibitory activity towards four other MMPs

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