NHELMIMACANLProject reference: 327114
Funded under :
Novel Alpha-Helix Mimetics as Anti-Cancer Leads
Total cost:EUR 231 283,2
EU contribution:EUR 231 283,2
Coordinated in:United Kingdom
Topic(s):FP7-PEOPLE-2012-IEF - Marie-Curie Action: "Intra-European fellowships for career development"
Call for proposal:FP7-PEOPLE-2012-IEFSee other projects for this call
Funding scheme:MC-IEF - Intra-European Fellowships (IEF)
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the western world, and 80% of breast cancers express the estrogen receptor (ER). Whilst inhibitors of ER action such as Tamoxifen and inhibitors of estrogen biosynthesis (e.g. aromatase inhibitors such as Anastrozole) have contributed to reductions in breast cancer mortality, resistance to these agents is a major problem. Such resistance could potentially be minimised by switching therapy with endocrine agents and as such there is an urgent clinical need to identify potent inhibitors of novel targets focused on countering endocrine resistance.
Liver receptor homologue 1 (LRH-1) is a nuclear receptor (NR) protein whose transcriptional activity is critical for aromatase expression in tissue surrounding the tumour. Moreover, LRH-1 also directly regulates breast cancer cell growth acting in concert with ER. Development of selective LRH-1 inhibitors would therefore provide a potent means of inhibiting ER activity in breast cancer cells, by direct down-regulation of ER levels and prevention of its activation by inhibiting local estrogen biosynthesis.
In this project, we plan to develop selective LRH-1 inhibitors by synthesising small molecule Coactivator Binding Inhibitors (CBIs) that will block the protein-protein interaction between LRH-1 and its coactivator proteins (e.g. SHP-1). This interaction is an obligatory prerequisite for transcriptional activity. The critical binding interface comprises an alpha-helical secondary structural motif presented on the surface of the coactivator and a complimentary surface exposed groove in the AF-2 domain of LRH-1. Five key residues on the alpha-helix are required for potent and selective binding. Thus the molecules we will prepare by organic synthesis and evaluate initially in both FRET binding and cell-based gene-reporter assays as LRH-1 antagonists will comprise of structurally novel 5-residue-presenting alpha-helix mimetics.
EU contribution: EUR 231 283,2
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