Pyridinylpyrimidines selectively inhibit human methionine aminopeptidase-1

Pengtao Zhang, Xinye Yang, Feiran Zhang, Sandra B. Gabelli, Renxiao Wang, Yihua Zhang, Shridhar Bhat, Xiaochun Chen, Manuel Furlani, L. Mario Amzel, Jun O. Liu, Dawei Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Cellular protein synthesis is initiated with methionine in eukaryotes with few exceptions. Methionine aminopeptidases (MetAPs) which catalyze the process of N-terminal methionine excision are essential for all organisms. In mammals, type 2 MetAP (MetAP2) is known to be important for angiogenesis, while type 1 MetAP (MetAP1) has been shown to play a pivotal role in cell proliferation. Our previous high-throughput screening of a commercial compound library uncovered a novel class of inhibitors for both human MetAP1 (HsMetAP1) and human MetAP2 (HsMetAP2). This class of inhibitors contains a pyridinylpyrimidine core. To understand the structure-activity relationship (SAR) and to search for analogues of 2 with greater potency and higher HsMetAP1-selectivity, a total of 58 analogues were acquired through either commercial source or by in-house synthesis and their inhibitory activities against HsMetAP1 and HsMetAP2 were determined. Through this systematic medicinal chemistry analysis, we have identified (1) 5-chloro-6-methyl-2-pyridin-2-ylpyrimidine as the minimum element for the inhibition of HsMetAP1; (2) 5′-chloro as the favored substituent on the pyridine ring for the enhanced potency against HsMetAP1; and (3) long C4 side chains as the essentials for higher HsMetAP1-selectivity. At the end of our SAR campaign, 25b, 25c, 26d and 30a-30c are among the most selective and potent inhibitors of purified HsMetAP1 reported to date. In addition, we also performed crystallographic analysis of one representative inhibitor (26d) in complex with N-terminally truncated HsMetAP1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2600-2617
Number of pages18
JournalBioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2013


  • Anti-cancer
  • Methionine aminopeptidase
  • Pyridinylpyrimidine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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