Irreversible inhibitors provide potent and selective inhibition of tyrosine kinase enzymes. Use of such inhibitors has proved promising in overcoming the tumor resistance encountered with reversible tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Irreversible inhibitors inactivate their protein target through covalent interaction with a nucleophilic cysteine residue within the nucleotide binding pocket of the kinase domain. Different irreversible tyrosin kinase inhibitors directed against epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK), vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) and fibroblast growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase (FGFR) have been developed and some of them have been employed clinically as anticancer agents. This review focuses on recent preclinical and clinical progress with currently available irreversible tyrosine kinase inhibitors. The chemical structures of the candidates, structure-activity relationships, biological activities and results of current clinical investigations are described.
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