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Current Cancer Drug Targets


ISSN (Print): 1568-0096
ISSN (Online): 1873-5576

Rational Design of Potent and Selective EGFR Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors as Anticancer Agents

Author(s): Sutapa Ghosh, Xing-Ping Liu, Yaguo Zheng and Fatih M. Uckun

Volume 1, Issue 2, 2001

Page: [129 - 140] Pages: 12

DOI: 10.2174/1568009013334188

Price: $65


Increasing knowledge of the structure and function of the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) subfamily of tyrosine kinases, and of their role in the initiation and progression of various cancers has led to the search for inhibitors of signaling molecules that may prove to be important in cancer therapy. The complex nature of EGFR biology allows for potential opportunities for EGFR inhibitors in a number of areas of cancer therapy, including proliferative, angiogenic, invasive, and metastatic aspects. Different approaches have been used to target either the extracellular ligand-binding domain of the EGFR or the intracellular tyrosine kinase region that results in interference with its signaling pathways that modulate cancer-promoting responses. Examples of these include a number of monoclonal antibodies, immunotoxins and ligand-binding cytotoxic agents that target the extracellular ligand binding region of EGFR, and small molecule inhibitors that target the intracellular kinase domain and act by interfering with ATP binding to the receptor. During the past 3 years, significant progress has been made towards the identification of new structural classes of small molecule inhibitors that show high potency and specificity towards EGFR. The search for new small molecules that inhibit kinases has included traditional approaches like the testing of natural products, random screening of chemical libraries, the use of classical structure-activity-relationship studies, and the incorporation of structurebased drug design and combinatorial chemistry techniques. There has been a significant improvement in the development of selective EGFR inhibitors with the use of a structure-based design approach employing a homology model of the EGFR kinase domain. Molecular modeling procedures have been used to generate novel molecules that are complementary in shape and electrostatics to the EGFR kinase domain topography. This review focuses on some examples of the successful use of this method.

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