Discovery of a Novel Inhibitor of Histone Lysine-Specific Demethylase 1A (KDM1A/LSD1) as Orally Active Antitumor Agent

J Med Chem. 2016 Feb 25;59(4):1501-17. doi: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.5b01209. Epub 2016 Jan 7.


We report the stereoselective synthesis and biological activity of a novel series of tranylcypromine (TCPA) derivatives (14a-k, 15, 16), potent inhibitors of KDM1A. The new compounds strongly inhibit the clonogenic potential of acute leukemia cell lines. In particular three molecules (14d, 14e, and 14g) showing selectivity versus MAO A and remarkably inhibiting colony formation in THP-1 human leukemia cells, were assessed in mouse for their preliminary pharmacokinetic. 14d and 14e were further tested in vivo in a murine acute promyelocytic leukemia model, resulting 14d the most effective. Its two enantiomers were synthesized: the (1S,2R) enantiomer 15 showed higher activity than its (1R,2S) analogue 16, in both biochemical and cellular assays. Compound 15 exhibited in vivo efficacy after oral administration, determining a 62% increased survival in mouse leukemia model with evidence of KDM1A inhibition. The biological profile of compound 15 supports its further investigation as a cancer therapeutic.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Agents / chemistry*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / administration & dosage
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / chemistry
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Histone Demethylases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Histone Demethylases / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Promyelocytic, Acute / drug therapy*
  • Leukemia, Promyelocytic, Acute / metabolism
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Tranylcypromine / administration & dosage
  • Tranylcypromine / chemistry*
  • Tranylcypromine / pharmacology
  • Tranylcypromine / therapeutic use*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Tranylcypromine
  • Histone Demethylases
  • KDM1A protein, human