Thermal denaturation: a method to rank slow binding, high-affinity P38alpha MAP kinase inhibitors

J Med Chem. 2003 Oct 23;46(22):4669-75. doi: 10.1021/jm030120s.


It has been reported that the diaryl urea class of p38alpha inhibitors binds to p38 map kinase with both high affinity and slow binding kinetics (Pargellis et al. Nat. Struct. Biol. 2002, 9, 268-272). The slow binding kinetics of this class of inhibitors is believed to be the result of binding to an allosteric pocket adjacent to the p38alpha active site. The use of traditional kinetic and equilibrium methods to measure the binding affinity of this class of compounds has created many challenges for determination of structure-activity relationships (SAR). The thermal denaturation method provides a means of measuring high-affinity interactions. In this paper, the method of thermal denaturation will be described as it has been applied to the diaryl urea class of p38 map kinase inhibitors.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Allosteric Site
  • Animals
  • Binding Sites
  • Calorimetry, Differential Scanning
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / chemistry*
  • Fluorescence
  • Heating
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 14
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / chemistry
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Denaturation
  • Protein Folding
  • Spectrophotometry, Ultraviolet
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Thermodynamics
  • Urea / analogs & derivatives*
  • Urea / chemistry*


  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Urea
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 14
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases