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New 2,4,8-disubstituted quinazolines with potential inhibitory activity of focal adhesion kinase (FAK)

João Eustáquio Antunes
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Doctoral Thesis
Institution: Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Faculdade de Ciências Médicas
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Gabriel Forato Anhê; Artur Torres Cordeiro; Luciana Venturini Rossoni; Eduardo Pagani
Advisor: Kleber Gomes Franchini

Understanding how the focal adhesion kinase (FAK) contributes to the processes of hypertrophy, heart failure and cancer are of great scientific interest. One of our goals is to develop specific inhibitors of this tyrosine kinase with potential therapeutic application in the treatment of heart failure and cancer. In this view, we used rational design to select a group of possible FAK inhibitors. Computational studies such as docking and pharmacokinetic studies allowed us to select 28 structures most likely to inhibit FAK. In this way, we saved up time and money in devising the synthesis of 6 pre-selected structures. Accordingly, quinazoline 4-BZLO was prepared and was able to inhibit the in vitro activity of FAK by 50% at a concentration of approximately 1nM. Several factors contributed to 4-BZLO being chosen as the lead compound in this study: 1) the degree of purity achieved during synthesis; 2) good oral bioavailability; 3) the best inhibition values in cells over expressing FAK in screening, 4) the best result against two leukemic cell lines and one solid tumor target. 4-BZLO showed promising results in experiments with mice subjected to aortic coarctation, which develops cardiac hypertrophy. To assess whether 4- BZLO would be effective for the preventive treatment of cardiac hypertrophy, an experiment was conducted in animals treated with 30 mg/kg/day for 30 days. After this period, an aortic coarctation was performed surgically in order to induce cardiac hypertrophy in animals, and these were further treated for 30 days. Parameters such as left ventricular weight per body weight ratio (LVW/BW), measurement of the left ventricle wall thickness (LVWT), and histological parameters, such as the diameter of cardiac myocytes in treated animals showed that there was a regression of hypertrophy, compared to untreated animals (control). A similar study, where treatment with 4-BZLO was performed only after aortic coarctation showed an improvement regarding hypertrophy and cardiac function. A cardiac fibrosis model was used and the results obtained demonstrated that animals treated with 4-BZLO for 30 days showed a reduction of collagen accumulation, which is an indicator of fibrosis, equal to the control group. Our laboratory has developed transgenic mice specific for FAK, which develop moderate cardiac hypertrophy. Consequently, this model allows us to test 4-BZLO for the treatment of FAK induced cardiac hypertrophy. The transgenic animals were treated with 4-BZLO, leading to an improvement of the cardiac parameters. These results showed that synthetic quinazoline 4-BZLO is a good drug candidate for the inhibition of the FAK enzyme. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 08/57629-0 - New 2,8-disubstituted quinazolines with potential inhibitory activity of focal adhesion kinase (FAK)
Grantee:João Eustáquio Antunes
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate