Triphenylbutanamines: kinesin spindle protein inhibitors with in vivo antitumor activity

F. Wang, J. A. D. Good, O. Rath, H. Y. K. Kaan, O. B. Sutcliffe, S. P. Mackay, F. Kozielski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


The human mitotic kinesin Eg5 represents a novel mitotic spindle target for cancer chemotherapy. We previously identified S-trityl-l-cysteine (STLC) and related analogues as selective potent inhibitors of Eg5. We herein report on the development of a series of 4,4,4-triphenylbutan-1-amine inhibitors derived from the STLC scaffold. This new generation systematically improves on potency: the most potent C-trityl analogues exhibit Kiapp ≤ 10 nM and GI50 ≈ 50 nM, comparable to results from the phase II clinical benchmark ispinesib. Crystallographic studies reveal that they adopt the same overall binding configuration as S-trityl analogues at an allosteric site formed by loop L5 of Eg5. Evaluation of their druglike properties reveals favorable profiles for future development and, in the clinical candidate ispinesib, moderate hERG and CYP inhibition. One triphenylbutanamine analogue and ispinesib possess very good bioavailability (51% and 45%, respectively), with the former showing in vivo antitumor growth activity in nude mice xenograft studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1511-1525
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number4
Early online date16 Jan 2012
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2012


  • trityl-l-cysteine
  • amino-acids
  • human ksp
  • marfeys method
  • mechanism
  • motor
  • EG5
  • cancer
  • absolute-configuration


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