Discovery and characterization of novel small molecule inhibitors of human Cdc25B dual specificity phosphatase

Marni Brisson, Theresa Nguyen, Andreas Vogt, Jack Yalowich, Angela Giorgianni, Dror Tobi, Ivet Bahar, Corey R.J. Stephenson, Peter Wipf, John S. Lazo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Cdc25A and Cdc25B dual-specificity phosphatases are key regulators of cell cycle transition and proliferation. They have oncogenic properties and are overexpressed in many human tumors. Because selective Cdc25 phosphatase inhibitors would be valuable biological tools and possible therapeutic agents, we have assayed a small molecule library for in vitro inhibition of Cdc25. We now report the identification of two new structurally distinct classes of Cdc25 inhibitors with cellular activity. The cyclopentaquinoline 3a,4,5,9b-tetrahydro- 3H-cyclopenta[c]quinoline-4,8-dicarboxylic acid (5661118) and the naphthofurandione 3-benzoyl-naphtho[1,2-b]furan-4,5-dione (5169131) had in vitro IC50 values of 2.5 to 11 μM against recombinant Cdc25 and were less potent inhibitors of other phosphatases. Unlike 5661118, 5169131 caused reversible inhibition of Cdc25B and displayed competitive inhibitor kinetics. No growth inhibitory activity was seen with 5661118, whereas 10 to 30 μM 5169131 caused G1/S and G2/M arrest. We also found that 5169131 inhibited human PC-3 prostate and MDA-MB-435 breast cancer cell proliferation. Concentration-dependent Tyr15 hyperphosphorylation was seen on cyclin-dependent kinase with a 1-h 5169131 treatment, consistent with Cdc25 inhibition. Cells resistant to DNA toposiomerase II inhibitors were as sensitive to 5169131 as parental cells, indicating that this quinone compound does not inhibit topoisomerase II in vivo. Molecular modeling was used to predict a potential interaction site between the inhibitor and Cdc25B and to provide insights as to the molecular origins of the experimental observations. Based on its kinetic profile and cellular activity, we suggest that 5169131 could be an excellent tool for further studies on the cellular roles of Cdc25.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)824-833
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Pharmacology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2004
Externally publishedYes


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