From pyrazolones to azaindoles: evolution of active-site SHP2 inhibitors based on scaffold hopping and bioisosteric replacement


  • Y. Mostinski
  • G.J.J.E. Heynen
  • M.P. López-Alberca
  • J. Paul
  • S. Miksche
  • S. Radetzki
  • D. Schaller
  • E. Shanina
  • C. Seyffarth
  • Y. Kolomeets
  • N. Ziebart
  • J. de Schryver
  • S. Oestreich
  • M. Neuenschwander
  • Y. Roske
  • U. Heinemann
  • C. Rademacher
  • A. Volkamer
  • J.P. von Kries
  • W. Birchmeier
  • M. Nazaré


  • Journal of Medicinal Chemistry


  • J Med Chem 63 (23): 14780-14804


  • The tyrosine phosphatase SHP2 controls the activity of pivotal signaling pathways, including MAPK, JAK-STAT, and PI3K-Akt. Aberrant SHP2 activity leads to uncontrolled cell proliferation, tumorigenesis, and metastasis. SHP2 signaling was recently linked to drug resistance against cancer medications such as MEK and BRAF inhibitors. In this work, we present the development of a novel class of azaindole SHP2 inhibitors. We applied scaffold hopping and bioisosteric replacement concepts to eliminate unwanted structural motifs and to improve the inhibitor characteristics of the previously reported pyrazolone SHP2 inhibitors. The most potent azaindole 45 inhibits SHP2 with an IC(50) = 0.031 μM in an enzymatic assay and with an IC(50) = 2.6 μM in human pancreas cells (HPAF-II). Evaluation in a series of cellular assays for metastasis and drug resistance demonstrated efficient SHP2 blockade. Finally, 45 inhibited proliferation of two cancer cell lines that are resistant to cancer drugs and diminished ERK signaling.