Design, synthesis and evaluation of analogs of initiation factor 4E (eIF4E) cap-binding antagonist Bn7-GMP

Yan Jia, Ting Lan Chiu, Elizabeth A. Amin, Vitaly Polunovsky, Peter B. Bitterman, Carston R. Wagner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Aberrant regulation of cap-dependent translation has been frequently observed in the development of cancer. Association of the cap-binding protein eIF4E with N7-methylated guanosine capped mRNA is the rate limiting step governing translation initiation; and therefore represents an attractive process for cancer drug discovery. Previously, replacement of the 7-Me group of the Me7-guanosine monophosphate with a benzyl group has been found to increase binding affinity to eIF4E. Recent X-ray crystallographic studies have revealed that the cap-binding pocket undergoes a unique structural change in order to accommodate the benzyl group. To explore the structure-activity relationships governing the affinity of N7-benzylated guanosine monophosphate (Bn7-GMP) for eIF4E, we virtually screened a library of 80 Bn7-GMP analogs utilizing CombiGlide as implemented in Schrodinger®. A subset library of substituted Bn7-GMP analogs was synthesized and their dissociation constants (Kd) were determined. Due to the poor correlation between docking/scoring results and experimental binding affinities, three-dimensional quantitative structure-activity relationship (3D-QSAR) calculations were performed. Two highly predictive and self-consistent CoMFA (comparative molecular field analysis) and CoMSIA (comparative molecular similarity indices analysis) models were derived and optimized. These models may be useful for the future design of eIF4E cap-binding antagonists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1304-1313
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We gratefully acknowledge Dr. Yuk Sham for help with molecular docking and Chunqi Hu for help with QSAR studies. This work was partially supported by a grant from NIH.


  • Anticancer
  • Antifibrotic
  • CoMFA
  • CoMSIA
  • Translation initiation
  • eIF4E


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