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Pure Appl. Chem., 2012, Vol. 84, No. 11, pp. 2467-2478

Published online 2012-06-05

Using halo (het) arylboronic species to achieve synthesis of foldamers as protein–protein interaction disruptors

Anne Sophie Voisin-Chiret* and Sylvain Rault

Université de Caen Basse-Normandie, Centre d’Etudes et de Recherche sur le Médicament de Normandie (UPRES EA 4258-FR CNRS 3038 INC3M), UFR des Sciences Pharmaceutiques, F-14032 Caen Cedex, France

Abstract: Protein–protein interactions (PPIs) play a central role in all biological processes and have been the focus of intense investigations from structural molecular biology to cell biology for the majority of the last two decades and, more recently, are emerging as important targets for pharmaceuticals. A common motif found at the interface of PPIs is the α‑helix, and apart from the peptidic structures, numerous nonpeptidic small molecules have been developed to mimic α-helices. The first-generation terphenyl scaffold is able to successfully mimic key helix residues and disrupt relevant interactions, including Bcl-xL-Bak interactions that are implicated in apoptosis mechanism. These scaffolds were designed and evaluated in silico. Analysis revealed that substituents on aromatic scaffolds can efficiently mimic side-chain surfaces. Unfortunately, the literature describes a long and difficult procedure to access these aromatic-based scaffolds. The search for new simpler methodology is the aim of the research of our medicinal chemistry team. On the basis of structural requirements, we developed a program concerning the synthesis of new oligo(het)aryl scaffolds produced by iterative couplings of boronic species (garlanding) in which substituents on rings project functionality in spatial orientations that mimic residues of an α-helix.