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06 2021 European journal of medicinal chemistry

Fragment-based drug design targeting syntenin PDZ2 domain involved in exosomal release and tumour spread.


Garcia M, Hoffer L, Leblanc R, Benmansour F, Feracci M, Derviaux C, Egea-Jimenez AL, Roche P, Zimmermann P, Morelli X, Barral K


Syntenin stimulates exosome production and its expression is upregulated in many cancers and implicated in the spread of metastatic tumor. These effects are supported by syntenin PDZ domains interacting with syndecans. We therefore aimed to develop, through a fragment-based drug design approach, novel inhibitors targeting syntenin-syndecan interactions. We describe here the optimization of a fragment, ‘hit’ C58, identified by in vitro screening of a PDZ-focused fragment library, which binds specifically to the syntenin-PDZ2 domain at the same binding site as the syndecan-2 peptide. X-ray crystallographic structures and computational docking were used to guide our optimization process and lead to compounds 45 and 57 (IC = 33 μM and 47 μM; respectively), two representatives of syntenin-syndecan interactions inhibitors, that selectively affect the syntenin-exosome release. These findings demonstrate that it is possible to identify small molecules inhibiting syntenin-syndecan interaction and exosome release that may be useful for cancer therapy.

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