Design and synthesis of a transferable farnesyl pyrophosphate analogue to Ras by protein farnesyltransferase

J Org Chem. 2000 May 19;65(10):3027-33. doi: 10.1021/jo991735t.


The posttranslational addition of a farnesyl moiety to the Ras oncoprotein is essential for its membrane localization and is required for both its biological activity and ability to induce malignant transformation. We describe the design and synthesis of a farnesyl pyrophosphate (FPP) analogue, 8-anilinogeranyl pyrophosphate 3 (AGPP), in which the omega-terminal isoprene unit of the farnesyl group has been replaced with an aniline functionality. The key steps in the synthesis are the reductive amination of the alpha,beta-unsaturated aldehyde 5 to form the lipid analogue 6, and the subsequent conversion of the allylic alcohol 7 to the chloride 8 via Ph(3)PCl(2) followed by displacement with [(n-Bu)(4)N](3)HP(2)O(7) to give AGPP (3). AGPP is a substrate for protein farnesyltransferase (FTase) and is transferred to Ras by FTase with the same kinetics as the natural substrate, FPP. AGPP is highly selective, showing little inhibitory activity against either geranylgeranyl-protein transferase type I (GGTase I) (K(i) = 0.06 microM, IC(50) = 20 microM) or squalene synthase (IC(50) = 1000 microM). AGPP is the first efficiently transferable analogue of FPP to be modified at the omega-terminus that provides a platform from which additional analogues can be made to probe the biological function of protein farnesylation. AGPP is the first example of a class of compounds that are alternate substrates for protein isoprenylation that are not inhibitors of squalene synthase.

MeSH terms

  • Alkyl and Aryl Transferases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Alkyl and Aryl Transferases / metabolism*
  • Aniline Compounds / chemical synthesis*
  • Aniline Compounds / pharmacology
  • Diphosphates / chemical synthesis*
  • Diphosphates / pharmacology
  • Farnesyl-Diphosphate Farnesyltransferase / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Kinetics
  • Protein Prenylation
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • ras Proteins / biosynthesis*


  • 8-anilinogeranyl pyrophosphate
  • Aniline Compounds
  • Diphosphates
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Alkyl and Aryl Transferases
  • geranylgeranyltransferase type-I
  • p21(ras) farnesyl-protein transferase
  • Farnesyl-Diphosphate Farnesyltransferase
  • ras Proteins