Design of new disubstituted imidazo[1,2-b]pyridazine derivatives as selective Haspin inhibitors. Synthesis, binding mode and anticancer biological evaluation.
ABSTRACT: Haspin is a mitotic protein kinase required for proper cell division by modulating Aurora B kinase localisation and activity as well as histone phosphorylation. Here a series of imidazopyridazines based on the CHR-6494 and Structure Activity Relationship was established. An assessment of the inhibitory activity of the lead structures on human Haspin and several other protein kinases is presented. The lead structure was rapidly optimised using a combination of crystal structures and effective docking models, with the best inhibitors exhibiting potent inhibitory activity on Haspin with IC50 between 6 and 100?nM in vitro. The developed inhibitors displayed anti-proliferative properties against various human cancer cell lines in 2D and spheroid cultures and significantly inhibited the migration ability of osteosarcoma U-2 OS cells. Notably, we show that our lead compounds are powerful Haspin inhibitors in human cells, and did not block G2/M cell cycle transition due to improved selectivity against CDK1/CyclinB.
Project description:The approval of histone deacetylase inhibitors for treatment of lymphoma subtypes has positioned histone modifications as potential targets for the development of new classes of anticancer drugs. Histones also undergo phosphorylation events, and Haspin is a protein kinase the only known target of which is phosphorylation of histone H3 at Thr3 residue (H3T3ph), which is necessary for mitosis progression. Mitotic kinases can be blocked by small drugs and several clinical trials are underway with these agents. As occurs with Aurora kinase inhibitors, Haspin might be an optimal candidate for the pharmacological development of these compounds. A high-throughput screening for Haspin inhibitors identified the CHR-6494 compound as being one promising such agent. We demonstrate that CHR-6494 reduces H3T3ph levels in a dose-dependent manner and causes a mitotic catastrophe characterized by metaphase misalignment, spindle abnormalities and centrosome amplification. From the cellular standpoint, the identified small-molecule Haspin inhibitor causes arrest in G2/M and subsequently apoptosis. Importantly, ex vivo assays also demonstrate its anti-angiogenetic features; in vivo, it shows antitumor potential in xenografted nude mice without any observed toxicity. Thus, CHR-6494 is a first-in-class Haspin inhibitor with a wide spectrum of anticancer effects that merits further preclinical research as a new member of the family of mitotic kinase inhibitors.
Project description:Haspin is a serine/threonine kinase that phosphorylates Thr-3 of histone H3 in mitosis that has emerged as a possible cancer therapeutic target. High throughput screening of approximately 140,000 compounds identified the beta-carbolines harmine and harmol as moderately potent haspin kinase inhibitors. Based on information obtained from a structure-activity relationship study previously conducted for an acridine series of haspin inhibitors in conjunction with in silico docking using a recently disclosed crystal structure of the kinase, harmine analogs were designed that resulted in significantly increased haspin kinase inhibitory potency. The harmine derivatives also demonstrated less activity towards DYRK2 compared to the acridine series. In vitro mouse liver microsome stability and kinase profiling of a representative member of the harmine series (42, LDN-211898) are also presented.
Project description:Patients with melanoma resistant to RAF/MEK inhibitors (RMi) are frequently resistant to other therapies, such as immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI), and individuals succumb to their disease. New drugs that control tumor growth and favorably modulate the immune environment are therefore needed. We report that the small-molecule CX-6258 has potent activity against both RMi-sensitive (RMS) and -resistant (RMR) melanoma cell lines. Haspin kinase (HASPIN) was identified as a target of CX-6258. HASPIN inhibition resulted in reduced proliferation, frequent formation of micronuclei, recruitment of cGAS, and activation of the cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS)-stimulator of interferon genes (STING) pathway. In murine models, CX-6258 induced a potent cGAS-dependent type-I IFN response in tumor cells, increased IFN?-producing CD8+ T cells, and reduced Treg frequency in vivo. HASPIN was more strongly expressed in malignant compared with healthy tissue and its inhibition by CX-6258 had minimal toxicity in ex vivo-expanded human tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL), proliferating TILs, and in vitro differentiated neurons, suggesting a potential therapeutic index for anticancer therapy. Furthermore, the activity of CX-6258 was validated in several Ewing sarcoma and multiple myeloma cell lines. Thus, HASPIN inhibition may overcome drug resistance in melanoma, modulate the immune environment, and target a vulnerability in different cancer lineages. SIGNIFICANCE: HASPIN inhibition by CX-6258 is a novel and potent strategy for RAF/MEK inhibitor-resistant melanoma and potentially other tumor types. HASPIN inhibition has direct antitumor activity and induces a favorable immune microenvironment.
Project description:Haspin is a serine/threonine kinase required for completion of normal mitosis that is highly expressed during cell proliferation, including in a number of neoplasms. Consequently, it has emerged as a potential therapeutic target in oncology. A high throughput screen of approximately 140,000 compounds identified an acridine analog as a potent haspin kinase inhibitor. Profiling against a panel of 270 kinases revealed that the compound also exhibited potent inhibitory activity for DYRK2, another serine/threonine kinase. An optimization study of the acridine series revealed that the structure-activity relationship (SAR) of the acridine series for haspin and DYRK2 inhibition had many similarities. However, several structural differences were noted that allowed generation of a potent haspin kinase inhibitor (33, IC50 <60 nM) with 180-fold selectivity over DYRK2. In addition, a moderately potent DYRK2 inhibitor (41, IC50 <400 nM) with a 5.4-fold selectivity over haspin was also identified.
Project description:Haspin is a mitotic protein kinase that is responsible for the phosphorylation of Thr3 of histone H3, thereby creating a recognition motif for docking of the chromosomal passenger complex that is crucial for the progression of cell division. Here, two high-resolution models of haspin with previously reported inhibitors consisting of an ATP analogue and a histone H3(1-7) peptide analogue are presented. The structures of the complexes confirm the bisubstrate character of the inhibitors by revealing the signature binding modes of the moieties targeting the ATP-binding site and the protein substrate-binding site of the kinase. This is the first structural model of a bisubstrate inhibitor targeting haspin. The presented structural data represent a model for the future development of more specific haspin inhibitors.
Project description:Meiosis I (MI), the division that generates haploids, is prone to errors that lead to aneuploidy in females. Haspin is a kinase that phosphorylates histone H3 on threonine 3, thereby recruiting Aurora kinase B (AURKB) and the chromosomal passenger complex (CPC) to kinetochores to regulate mitosis. Haspin and AURKC, an AURKB homolog, are enriched in germ cells, yet their significance in regulating MI is not fully understood. Using inhibitors and overexpression approaches, we show a role for haspin during MI in mouse oocytes. Haspin-perturbed oocytes display abnormalities in chromosome morphology and alignment, improper kinetochore-microtubule attachments at metaphase I and aneuploidy at metaphase II. Unlike in mitosis, kinetochore localization remained intact, whereas the distribution of the CPC along chromosomes was absent. The meiotic defects following haspin inhibition were similar to those observed in oocytes where AURKC was inhibited, suggesting that the correction of microtubule attachments during MI requires AURKC along chromosome arms rather than at kinetochores. Our data implicate haspin as a regulator of the CPC and chromosome segregation during MI, while highlighting important differences in how chromosome segregation is regulated between MI and mitosis.
Project description:Histone modification, a post-translational modification of histones and involving various covalent tags, such as methyl, phosphate and acetate groups, affects gene expression and hence modulates various cellular events, including growth and proliferation. Consequently histone-modifying proteins have become targets for the development of anticancer agents. Thus far, compounds that inhibit the methylation or acetylation of histones have advanced in the clinic, but inhibitors of histone phosphorylation have lagged behind. Haspin is a kinase that phosphorylates histone H3 and is a promising anticancer target. Thus far only a handful of haspin inhibitors have been reported. Using a one-flask Doebner/Povarov reaction, we synthesized a library of compounds that potently inhibit haspin with IC50 values as low as 14?nM. Some of these compounds also inhibited the proliferation of cancer cell lines HCT116, HeLa and A375. The ease of synthesis of the new haspin inhibitors, coupled with their anticancer activities make these compounds interesting leads to develop into therapeutics.
Project description:Recent discoveries have highlighted the importance of Haspin kinase activity for the correct positioning of the kinase Aurora B at the centromere. Haspin phosphorylates Thr(3) of the histone H3 (H3), which provides a signal for Aurora B to localize to the centromere of mitotic chromosomes. To date, histone H3 is the only confirmed Haspin substrate. We used a combination of biochemical, pharmacological, and mass spectrometric approaches to study the consequences of Haspin inhibition in mitotic cells. We quantified 3964 phosphorylation sites on chromatin-associated proteins and identified a Haspin protein-protein interaction network. We determined the Haspin consensus motif and the co-crystal structure of the kinase with the histone H3 tail. The structure revealed a unique bent substrate binding mode positioning the histone H3 residues Arg(2) and Lys(4) adjacent to the Haspin phosphorylated threonine into acidic binding pockets. This unique conformation of the kinase-substrate complex explains the reported modulation of Haspin activity by methylation of Lys(4) of the histone H3. In addition, the identification of the structural basis of substrate recognition and the amino acid sequence preferences of Haspin aided the identification of novel candidate Haspin substrates. In particular, we validated the phosphorylation of Ser(137) of the histone variant macroH2A as a target of Haspin kinase activity. MacroH2A Ser(137) resides in a basic stretch of about 40 amino acids that is required to stabilize extranucleosomal DNA, suggesting that phosphorylation of Ser(137) might regulate the interactions of macroH2A and DNA. Overall, our data suggest that Haspin activity affects the phosphorylation state of proteins involved in gene expression regulation and splicing.
Project description:The protein kinase haspin/Gsg2 plays an important role in mitosis, where it specifically phosphorylates Thr-3 in histone H3 (H3T3). Its protein sequence is only weakly homologous to other protein kinases and lacks the highly conserved motifs normally required for kinase activity. Here we report structures of human haspin in complex with ATP and the inhibitor iodotubercidin. These structures reveal a constitutively active kinase conformation, stabilized by haspin-specific inserts. Haspin also has a highly atypical activation segment well adapted for specific recognition of the basic histone tail. Despite the lack of a DFG motif, ATP binding to haspin is similar to that in classical kinases; however, the ATP gamma-phosphate forms hydrogen bonds with the conserved catalytic loop residues Asp-649 and His-651, and a His651Ala haspin mutant is inactive, suggesting a direct role for the catalytic loop in ATP recognition. Enzyme kinetic data show that haspin phosphorylates substrate peptides through a rapid equilibrium random mechanism. A detailed analysis of histone modifications in the neighborhood of H3T3 reveals that increasing methylation at Lys-4 (H3K4) strongly decreases substrate recognition, suggesting a key role of H3K4 methylation in the regulation of haspin activity.
Project description:Sister-chromatid cohesion mediated by the cohesin complex is fundamental for precise chromosome segregation in mitosis. Through binding the cohesin subunit Pds5, Wapl releases the bulk of cohesin from chromosome arms in prophase, whereas centromeric cohesin is protected from Wapl until anaphase onset. Strong centromere cohesion requires centromeric localization of the mitotic histone kinase Haspin, which is dependent on the interaction of its non-catalytic N-terminus with Pds5B. It remains unclear how Haspin fully blocks the Wapl-Pds5B interaction at centromeres. Here, we show that the C-terminal kinase domain of Haspin (Haspin-KD) binds and phosphorylates the YSR motif of Wapl (Wapl-YSR), thereby directly inhibiting the YSR motif-dependent interaction of Wapl with Pds5B. Cells expressing a Wapl-binding-deficient mutant of Haspin or treated with Haspin inhibitors show centromeric cohesion defects. Phospho-mimetic mutation in Wapl-YSR prevents Wapl from binding Pds5B and releasing cohesin. Forced targeting Haspin-KD to centromeres partly bypasses the need for Haspin-Pds5B interaction in cohesion protection. Taken together, these results indicate a kinase-dependent role for Haspin in antagonizing Wapl and protecting centromeric cohesion in mitosis.