In vitro biological activity of a novel small-molecule inhibitor of polo-like kinase 1

Timothy J. Lansing, Randy T. McConnell, Derek R. Duckett, Glenn M. Spehar, Victoria B. Knick, Daniel F. Hassler, Nobuhiro Noro, Masaaki Furuta, Kyle A. Emmitte, Tona M. Gilmer, Robert A. Mook, Mui Cheung

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133 Scopus citations


Polo-like kinase 1 (PLK1) plays key roles in the regulation of mitotic progression, including mitotic entry, spindle formation, chromosome segregation, and cytokinesis. PLK1 expression and activity are strongly linked to proliferating cells. Many studies have shown that PLK1 expression is elevated in a variety of tumors, and high expression often correlates with poor prognosis. Using a variety of methods, including small-molecule inhibition of PLK1 function and/or activity, apoptosis in cancer cell lines, cell cycle arrest in normal cell lines, and antitumor activity in vivo have been observed. In the present study, we have examined the in vitro biological activity of a novel and selective thiophene benzimidazole ATP-competitive inhibitor of PLK1 and PLK3 (5-(5,6-dimethoxy-1H-benzimidazol-1-yl)-3-{[2-(trifluoromethyl)- benzyl]oxy}-thiophene-2-carboxamide, called compound 1). Compound 1 has low nanomolar activity against the PLK1 and PLK3 enzymes and potently inhibits the proliferation of a wide variety of tumor cell lines. In the lung adenocarcinoma cell line NCI-H460, compound 1 induces a transient G2-M arrest, mitotic spindle defects, and a multinucleate phenotype resulting in apoptosis, whereas normal human diploid fibroblasts arrest in G2-M and show little apoptosis. We also describe a cellular mechanistic assay that was developed to identify potent intracellular inhibitors of PLK1. In addition to its potent as a therapeutic agent for treating cancer, compound 1 is also a useful tool molecule for further investigation of the biological functions of PLK1 and PLK3.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)450-459
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Cancer Therapeutics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2007


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