Publication Date



Journal of Medicinal Chemistry


Cancers harboring homozygous deletion of the glycolytic enzyme enolase 1 (ENO1) are selectively vulnerable to inhibition of the paralogous isoform, enolase 2 (ENO2). A previous work described the sustained tumor regression activities of a substrate-competitive phosphonate inhibitor of ENO2, 1-hydroxy-2-oxopiperidin-3-yl phosphonate (HEX) (5), and its bis-pivaloyoxymethyl prodrug, POMHEX (6), in an ENO1-deleted intracranial orthotopic xenograft model of glioblastoma [Nature Metabolism2020,2, 1423–1426]. Due to poor pharmacokinetics of bis-ester prodrugs, this study was undertaken to identify potential non-esterase prodrugs for further development. Whereas phosphonoamidate esters were efficiently bioactivated in ENO1-deleted glioma cells, McGuigan prodrugs were not. Other strategies, including cycloSal and lipid prodrugs of 5, exhibited low micromolar IC50 values in ENO1-deleted glioma cells and improved stability in human serum over 6. The activity of select prodrugs was also probed using the NCI-60 cell line screen, supporting its use to examine the relationship between prodrugs and cell line-dependent bioactivation.


Humans, Prodrugs, Organophosphonates, Homozygote, Sequence Deletion, Phosphopyruvate Hydratase, Glioblastoma, Glioma, Esters, Lipids, DNA-Binding Proteins, Biomarkers, Tumor, Tumor Suppressor Proteins

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