Structure-activity study for (bis)ureidopropyl- and (bis)thioureidopropyldiamine LSD1 inhibitors with 3-5-3 and 3-6-3 carbon backbone architectures

Shannon L. Nowotarski, Boobalan Pachaiyappan, Steven L. Holshouser, Craig J. Kutz, Youxuan Li, Yi Huang, Shiv K. Sharma, Robert A. Casero, Patrick M. Woster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Methylation at specific histone lysine residues is a critical post-translational modification that alters chromatin architecture, and dysregulated lysine methylation/demethylation is associated with the silencing of tumor suppressor genes. The enzyme lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1) complexed to specific transcription factors catalyzes the oxidative demethylation of mono- and dimethyllysine 4 of histone H3 (H3K4me and H3K4me2, respectively). We have previously reported potent (bis)urea and (bis)thiourea LSD1 inhibitors that increase cellular levels of H3K4me and H3K4me2, promote the re-expression of silenced tumor suppressor genes and suppress tumor growth in vitro. Here we report the design additional (bis)urea and (bis)thiourea LSD1 inhibitors that feature 3-5-3 or 3-6-3 carbon backbone architectures. Three of these compounds displayed single-digit IC50 values in a recombinant LSD1 assay. In addition, compound 6d exhibited an IC50 of 4.2 μM against the Calu-6 human lung adenocarcinoma line, and 4.8 μM against the MCF7 breast tumor cell line, in an MTS cell viability assay. Following treatment with 6b-6d, Calu-6 cells exhibited a significant increase in the mRNA expression for the silenced tumor suppressor genes SFRP2, HCAD and p16, and modest increases in GATA4 message. The compounds described in this paper represent the most potent epigenetic modulators in this series, and have potential for use as antitumor agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1601-1612
Number of pages12
JournalBioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015


  • Antitumor agent
  • Epigenetics
  • Histone demethylase
  • Lysine-specific demethylase 1
  • Oligoamine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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