I am a
Home I AM A Search Login

Papers of the Week

2020 Mar 05

J Med Chem

Identification of potent in vivo autotaxin inhibitors that bind to both hydrophobic pocket and channel in the catalytic domain.


Kawaguchi M, Okabe T, Okudaira S, Hama K, Kano K, Nishimasu H, Nakagawa H, Ishitani R, Kojima H, Nureki O, Aoki J, Nagano T
J Med Chem. 2020 Mar 05.
PMID: 32134652.


Autotaxin (ATX, also known as ENPP2) is the predominant lysophosphatidic acid (LPA)-producing enzyme in the body, and LPA regulates various physiological functions, such as angiogenesis and wound healing, as well as pathological functions, including proliferation, metastasis, and fibrosis, via specific LPA receptors. Therefore, the ATX-LPA axis is a promising therapeutic target for dozens of diseases, including cancers, pulmonary and liver fibroses, and neuropathic pain. Previous structural studies revealed that the catalytic domain of ATX has a hydrophobic pocket and a hydrophobic channel; these serve to recognize the substrate, lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC), and deliver generated LPA to LPA receptors on the plasma membrane. Most reported ATX inhibitors bind to either the hydrophobic pocket or the hydrophobic channel. Herein, we present a unique ATX inhibitor that binds mainly to the hydrophobic pocket and also partly to the hydrophobic channel, inhibiting ATX activity with high potency and selectivity in vitro and in vivo. Notably, our inhibitor can rescue the cardia bifida (two hearts) phenotype in ATX-overexpressing zebrafish embryos.