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Structural Manipulations of Marine Natural Products Inspire a New Library of 3-Amino-1,2,4-Triazine PDK Inhibitors Endowed with Antitumor Activity in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma

  • Authors: Carbone, Daniela; De Franco, Michele; Pecoraro, Camilla; Bassani, Davide; Pavan, Matteo; Cascioferro, Stella; Parrino, Barbara; Cirrincione, Girolamo; Dall'Acqua, Stefano; Sut, Stefania; Moro, Stefano; Gandin, Valentina; Diana, Patrizia
  • Publication year: 2023
  • Type: Articolo in rivista
  • OA Link:


Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the main aggressive types of cancer, characterized by late prognosis and drug resistance. Among the main factors sustaining PDAC progression, the alteration of cell metabolism has emerged to have a key role in PDAC cell proliferation, invasion, and resistance to standard chemotherapeutic agents. Taking into account all these factors and the urgency in evaluating novel options to treat PDAC, in the present work we reported the synthesis of a new series of indolyl-7-azaindolyl triazine compounds inspired by marine bis-indolyl alkaloids. We first assessed the ability of the new triazine compounds to inhibit the enzymatic activity of pyruvate dehydrogenase kinases (PDKs). The results showed that most of derivatives totally inhibit PDK1 and PDK4. Molecular docking analysis was executed to predict the possible binding mode of these derivatives using ligand-based homology modeling technique. Evaluation of the capability of new triazines to inhibit the cell growth in 2D and 3D KRAS-wild-type (BxPC-3) and KRAS-mutant (PSN-1) PDAC cell line, was carried out. The results showed the capacity of the new derivatives to reduce cell growth with a major selectivity against KRAS-mutant PDAC PSN-1 on both cell models. These data demonstrated that the new triazine derivatives target PDK1 enzymatic activity and exhibit cytotoxic effects on 2D and 3D PDAC cell models, thus encouraging further structure manipulation for analogs development against PDAC