Fascin is an actin binding and bundling protein that is not expressed in normal epithelial tissues but overexpressed in a variety of invasive epithelial tumors. It has a critical role in cancer cell metastasis by promoting cell migration and invasion. Here we report the crystal structures of fascin in complex with a series of novel and potent inhibitors. Structure-based elaboration of these compounds enabled the development of a series with nanomolar affinities for fascin, good physicochemical properties and the ability to inhibit fascin-mediated bundling of filamentous actin. These compounds provide promising starting points for fascin-targeted anti-metastatic therapies.
Keywords: Cancer; Drug discovery; Fragments; Medicinal chemistry; Virtual screening.
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