Fragment-based drug discovery of 2-thiazolidinones as BRD4 inhibitors: 2. Structure-based optimization

J Med Chem. 2015 Feb 12;58(3):1281-97. doi: 10.1021/jm501504k. Epub 2015 Jan 14.


The signal transduction of acetylated histone can be processed through a recognition module, bromodomain. Several inhibitors targeting BRD4, one of the bromodomain members, are in clinical trials as anticancer drugs. Hereby, we report our efforts on discovery and optimization of a new series of 2-thiazolidinones as BRD4 inhibitors along our previous study. In this work, guided by crystal structure analysis, we reversed the sulfonamide group and identified a new binding mode. A structure-activity relationship study on this new series led to several potent BRD4 inhibitors with IC50 of about 0.05-0.1 μM in FP binding assay and GI50 of 0.1-0.3 μM in cell based assays. To complete the lead-like assessment of this series, we further checked its effects on BRD4 downstream protein c-Myc, investigated its selectivity among five different bromodomain proteins, as well as the metabolic stability test, and reinforced the utility of 2-thiazolidinone scaffold as BET bromodomain inhibitors in novel anticancer drug development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / chemical synthesis
  • Antineoplastic Agents / chemistry*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Crystallography, X-Ray
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Discovery*
  • Drug Screening Assays, Antitumor
  • HT29 Cells
  • Humans
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Structure
  • Nuclear Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Thiazolidines / chemical synthesis
  • Thiazolidines / chemistry
  • Thiazolidines / pharmacology*
  • Transcription Factors / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • BRD4 protein, human
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Thiazolidines
  • Transcription Factors