A selective chemical probe for exploring the role of CDK8 and CDK19 in human disease.
de Haven Brandon, A
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There is unmet need for chemical tools to explore the role of the Mediator complex in human pathologies ranging from cancer to cardiovascular disease. Here we determine that CCT251545, a small-molecule inhibitor of the WNT pathway discovered through cell-based screening, is a potent and selective chemical probe for the human Mediator complex-associated protein kinases CDK8 and CDK19 with >100-fold selectivity over 291 other kinases. X-ray crystallography demonstrates a type 1 binding mode involving insertion of the CDK8 C terminus into the ligand binding site. In contrast to type II inhibitors of CDK8 and CDK19, CCT251545 displays potent cell-based activity. We show that CCT251545 and close analogs alter WNT pathway-regulated gene expression and other on-target effects of modulating CDK8 and CDK19, including expression of genes regulated by STAT1. Consistent with this, we find that phosphorylation of STAT1(SER727) is a biomarker of CDK8 kinase activity in vitro and in vivo. Finally, we demonstrate in vivo activity of CCT251545 in WNT-dependent tumors.
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Cell Line, Tumor
Protein Kinase Inhibitors
Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 8
Clinical Pharmacology & Trials (including Drug Metabolism & Pharmacokinetics Group)
Medicinal Chemistry 1
Signal Transduction & Molecular Pharmacology
Tumour Biology & Metastasis
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Nature chemical biology, 2015, 11 (12), pp. 973 - 980