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Papers of the Week

Papers: 17 Jul 2021 - 23 Jul 2021

Animal Studies, Pharmacology/Drug Development

2021 Jul 15

Biochem Pharmacol

TTI-101: A competitive inhibitor of STAT3 that spares oxidative phosphorylation and reverses mechanical allodynia in mouse models of neuropathic pain.


Kasembeli MM, Singhmar P, Ma J, Edralin J, Tang Y, Adams C, Heijnen CJ, Kavelaars A, Tweardy DJ
Biochem Pharmacol. 2021 Jul 15:114688.
PMID: 34274354.


Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription (STAT) 3 emerged rapidly as a high-value target for treatment of cancer. However, small-molecule STAT3 inhibitors have been slow to enter the clinic due, in part, to serious adverse events (SAE), including lactic acidosis and peripheral neuropathy, which have been attributed to inhibition of STAT3's mitochondrial function. Our group developed TTI-101, a competitive inhibitor of STAT3 that targets the receptor pY705-peptide binding site within the Src homology 2 (SH2) domain to block its recruitment and activation. TTI-101 has shown target engagement, no toxicity, and evidence of clinical benefit in a Phase I study in patients with solid tumors. Here we report that TTI-101 did not affect mitochondrial function, nor did it cause STAT3 aggregation, chemically modify STAT3 or cause neuropathic pain. Instead, TTI-101 unexpectedly suppressed neuropathic pain induced by chemotherapy or in a spared nerve injury model. Thus, in addition to its direct anti-tumor effect, TTI-101 may be of benefit when administered to cancer patients at risk of developing chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN).