Journal of medicinal chemistry

Structure-Activity and Structure-Property Relationship and Exploratory in Vivo Evaluation of the Nanomolar Keap1-Nrf2 Protein-Protein Interaction Inhibitor.

PMID 26258437


Directly disrupting the Keap1-Nrf2 protein-protein interaction (PPI) is an effective way to activate Nrf2. Using the potent Keap1-Nrf2 PPI inhibitor that was reported by our group, we conducted a preliminary investigation of the structure-activity and structure-property relationships of the ring systems to improve the drug-like properties. Compound 18e, which bore p-acetamido substituents on the side chain phenyl rings, was the best choice for balancing PPI inhibition activity, physicochemical properties, and cellular Nrf2 activity. Cell-based experiments with 18e showed that the Keap1-Nrf2 PPI inhibitor can activate Nrf2 and induce the expression of Nrf2 downstream proteins in an Nrf2-dependent manner. An exploratory in vivo experiment was carried out to further evaluate the anti-inflammatory effects of 18e in a LPS-challenged mouse model. The primary results indicated that 18e could reduce the level of circulating pro-inflammatory cytokines induced by LPS and relieve the inflammatory response.