Development of New Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 Receptor Kinase Inhibitors Using Catechol Mimics

Galia Blum, Aviv Gazit, Alexander Levitzki*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


Because insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and its receptor play a pivotal role in many cancers, it is an attractive target for the design of inhibitors. Here we present a new family of bioisostere inhibitors, based on the structure of AG 538. AG 538 is a substrate-competitive inhibitor of the IGF-1 receptor (IGF-1R), with an IC50 = 61 nM in a cell-free kinase assay (Blum, G., Gazit, A., and Levitzki, A. (2000) Biochemistry 39, 15705-15712). AG 538 is a low molecular weight compound containing two catechol rings, which are sensitive to oxidation in cells. We have therefore prepared and examined catechol bioisosteres of AG 538. These AG 538 bioisosteres possess similar biological properties to AG 538; they inhibit IGF-1R by a substrate-competitive mechanism and are non-competitive vis à vis ATP. They inhibit IGF-1R kinase activity in the sub-micromolar concentration range in cell-free assays. IGF-1 induced IGF-1R autophosphorylation; IRS-1 phosphorylation and protein kinase B activation are inhibited at a low micromolar concentration range when applied to intact cells. These inhibitors also block the formation of colonies in soft agar by prostate and breast cancer cells. The ability to replace catechol groups with a moiety that is more stable in cells may aid in developing non-catechol-containing substrate-competitive inhibitors targeted toward IGF-1R and possibly against other protein-tyrosine kinases.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)40442-40454
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number42
StatePublished - 17 Oct 2003


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