Recently, deoxyuridine triphosphatase (dUTPase) has emerged as a potential target for drug development as part of a new strategy of 5-fluorouracil-based combination chemotherapy. We have initiated a program to develop potent drug-like dUTPase inhibitors based on structure-activity relationship (SAR) studies of uracil derivatives. N-Carbonylpyrrolidine- and N-sulfonylpyrrolidine-containing uracils were found to be promising scaffolds that led us to human dUTPase inhibitors (12k) having excellent potencies (IC(50) = 0.15 μM). The X-ray structure of a complex of 16a and human dUTPase revealed a unique binding mode wherein its uracil ring and phenyl ring occupy a uracil recognition region and a hydrophobic region, respectively, and are stacked on each other. Compounds 12a and 16a markedly enhanced the growth inhibition activity of 5-fluoro-2'-deoxyuridine against HeLa S3 cells in vitro (EC(50) = 0.27-0.30 μM), suggesting that our novel dUTPase inhibitors could contribute to the development of chemotherapeutic strategies when used in combination with TS inhibitors.
© 2012 American Chemical Society