A new and improved synthesis of lead Mnk1/2 protein degrader, VNLG-152R, 4-(±)-(1H-imidazole-1-yl)-N-(4-fluorophenyl)-(E)-retinamide (1) has been developed from commercially available 4-oxo-ATRA (8). This procedure was also utilized to synthesize the seven possible deuterated analogs of compound 1 (11-17). The deuterated analogs were either better or equipotent to 1 in in vitro antiproliferative activities against MDA-MB-231 and MDA-MB-468 human TNBC cells. The Mnk1/2 degraders were equally effective as a standard TNBC therapy (paclitaxel). Importantly, the expression of Mnk1, peIF4E and their associated downstream targets, including cyclin D1 and Bcl2, were strongly decreased in compound 1/analogs (11-17)-treated TNBC cells signifying inhibition of Mnk1-eIF4E signaling. More importantly, we showed that deuterated analogs, 12, 16 and 17 possess improved pharmacokinetics parameters following oral administration to CD-1 female mice compared to the parent non-deuterated compound 1, thus addressing the rapid clearance (short half-life and short residence time) pharmacokinetic inadequacy of compound 1.
Keywords: Mnk1/2 degraders; Pharmacokinetics; TNBC therapeutics; VNLG-152R deuteration.
Copyright © 2022 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.