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Abstract

As typified by 2-{(9S,10S,14R,18S)-18-(2-amino-2-oxoethyl)-14-[(5-methyl-1H-indol-1-yl)methyl]-8,17,20-trioxo-10-[4-(phosphonomethyl)phenyl]-7,16,19-triazaspiro[5.14]icos-11-en-9-yl}acetic acid ((14R)-1b), ring-closing methathesis-derived macrocyclic tetrapeptide mimetics have recently been reported that bind with high affinity to Grb2 SH2 domains in both extracellular and whole-cell assays. The synthetic complexity of this class of agents limits further therapeutic development. Although a significant component of this synthetic complexity arises from the presence of three stereogenic centers, C(9) (S), C(10) (S), and C(14) (R), it is unclear whether stereoselective introduction of defined configuration at C(14) is required for high-affinity binding. Reported herein is a synthetic route to these macrocycles lacking stereoselectivity in the formation of the C(14) ring junction, which is four synthetic steps shorter than the original stereoselective synthesis. Separation of C(14)-epimers obtained by this approach was achieved by preparative HPLC. Molecular-dynamics studies of ligands bound to the Grb2 SH2 domain protein indicated that the (14R)-configuration should display more-favorable interactions with the protein relative to the (14S)-epimer. Indeed, although surface-plasmon-resonance-derived binding constants to Grb2 SH2 domain protein indicated that the affinity of the (14R)-epimer (KD=4.8 nM) is greater than that of the (14S)-epimer (KD=11 nM), it is only marginally so. Therefore, little affinity would be lost through a non-stereoselective synthesis of the C(14)-center. Further studies are in progress to explore reduced structural complexity at the C(14)-center.