One of the challenges for targeting B-Raf(V600E) with small molecule inhibitors had been achieving adequate selectivity over the wild-type protein B-Raf(WT), as inhibition of the latter has been associated with hyperplasia in normal tissues. Recent studies suggest that B-Raf inhibitors inducing the 'DFG-in/αC-helix-out' conformation (Type IIB) likely will exhibit improved selectivity for B-Raf(V600E). To explore this hypothesis, we transformed Type IIA inhibitor (1) into a series of Type IIB inhibitors (sulfonamides and sulfamides 4-6) and examined the SAR. Three selectivity indices were introduced to facilitate the analyses: the B-Raf(V600E)/B-Raf(WT) biochemical ((b)S), cellular ((c)S) selectivity, and the phospho-ERK activation ((p)A). Our data indicates that α-branched sulfonamides and sulfamides show higher selectivities than the linear derivatives. We rationalized this finding based on analysis of structural information from the literature and provided evidence for a monomeric B-Raf-inhibitor complex previously hypothesized to be responsible for the desired B-Raf(V600E) selectivity.
Keywords: B-Raf; C-helix; DFG; Inhibitor; Selectivity; Sulfonamide; Wild-type; v600e.
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