The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a central regulator of cell growth, metabolism, and angiogenesis and an emerging target in cancer research. High throughput screening (HTS) of our compound collection led to the identification of 3-(4-morpholin-4-yl-1-piperidin-4-yl-1H-pyrazolo[3,4-d] pyrimidin-6-yl)phenol (5a), a modestly potent and nonselective inhibitor of mTOR and phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K). Optimization of compound 5a, employing an mTOR homology model based on an X-ray crystal structure of closely related PI3Kγ led to the discovery of 6-(1H-indol-5-yl)-4-morpholin-4-yl-1-[1- (pyridin-3-ylmethyl)piperidin-4-yl] -1H-pyrazolo[3,4-d]pyrimidine (5u), a potent and selective mTOR inhibitor (mTOR IC 50 = 9 nM; PI3Kα IC 50 = 1962 nM). Compound 5u selectively inhibited cellular biomarker of mTORC1 (P-S6K, P-4EBP1) and mTORC2 (P-AKT S473) over the biomarker of PI3K/PDK1 (P-AKT T308) and did not inhibit PI3K-related kinases (PIKKs) in cellular assays. These pyrazolopyrimidines represent an exciting new series of mTOR-selective inhibitors with potential for development for cancer therapy. ©2009 American Chemical Society.
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