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The Wnt family of proteins are secreted signaling proteins that play key roles in regulating cellular functions. Recently, carboxylesterase Notum was shown to act as a negative regulator of Wnt signaling by mediating the removal of an essential palmitoleate. Here we disclose two new chemical scaffolds that inhibit Notum enzymatic activity. Our approach was to create a fragment library of 250 acids for screening against Notum in a biochemical assay followed by structure determination by X-ray crystallography. Twenty fragments were identified as hits for Notum inhibition, and 14 of these fragments were shown to bind in the palmitoleate pocket of Notum. Optimization of 1-phenylpyrrole 20, guided by structure-based drug design, identified 20z as the most potent compound from this series. Similarly, the optimization of 1-phenylpyrrolidine 8 gave acid 26. This work demonstrates that inhibition of Notum activity can be achieved by small, drug-like molecules possessing favorable in vitro ADME profiles.

Original publication

DOI

10.1021/acs.jmedchem.0c00660

Type

Journal article

Journal

J Med Chem

Publication Date

18/08/2020