The L‐type amino acid transporter 1 (LAT1, SLC7A5) imports dietary amino acids and amino acid drugs (e.g. L‐DOPA) into the brain, and it plays a role in cancer metabolism. Though there have been numerous reports of LAT1‐targeted amino acid‐drug conjugates (prodrugs), identifying the structural determinants to enhance substrate activity has been challenging. In this work, we investigated the position and orientation of a carbonyl group in linking hydrophobic moieties including the anti‐inflammatory drug ketoprofen to L‐tyrosine and L‐phenylalanine. We found that esters of meta‐carboxyl L‐phenylalanine had better LAT1 transport rates than the corresponding acylated L‐tyrosine analogs. However, as the size of the hydrophobic moiety increased, we observed a decrease in LAT1 transport rate with a concomitant increase in potency of inhibition. Our results have important implications for designing amino acid prodrugs that target LAT1 at the blood‐brain barrier (BBB) or on cancer cells.
A series of 1,2,3-triazole analogs of the amino acids L-histidine and L-tryptophan were modeled, synthesized and tested for L-type amino acid transporter 1 (LAT1; SLC7A5) activity to guide the design of amino acid-drug conjugates (prodrugs). These triazoles were conveniently prepared by the highly convergent Huisgen 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition (Click Chemistry). Despite comparable predicted binding modes, triazoles generally demonstrated reduced cell uptake and LAT1 binding potency relative to their natural amino acid counterparts. The structure-activity relationship (SAR) data for these triazoles has important ramifications for treating cancer and brain disorders using amino acid prodrugs or LAT1 inhibitors.
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 2018, 61, 7358-73.
The L-type amino acid transporter 1 (LAT1, SLC7A5) transports essential amino acids across the blood–brain barrier (BBB) and into cancer cells. To utilize LAT1 for drug delivery, potent amino acid promoieties are desired, as prodrugs must compete with millimolar concentrations of endogenous amino acids. To better understand ligand–transporter interactions that could improve potency, we developed structural LAT1 models to guide the design of substituted analogues of phenylalanine and histidine. Furthermore, we evaluated the structure–activity relationship (SAR) for both enantiomers of naturally occurring LAT1 substrates. Analogues were tested in cis-inhibition and trans-stimulation cell assays to determine potency and uptake rate. Surprisingly, LAT1 can transport amino acid-like substrates with wide-ranging polarities including those containing ionizable substituents. Additionally, the rate of LAT1 transport was generally nonstereoselective even though enantiomers likely exhibit different binding modes. Our findings have broad implications to the development of new treatments for brain disorders and cancer.
Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters, 2016, 26, 5000-06
Large neutral amino acid transporter 1 (LAT1) is a solute carrier protein located primarily in the blood–brain barrier (BBB) that offers the potential to deliver drugs to the brain. It is also up-regulated in cancer cells, as part of a tumor’s increased metabolic demands. Previously, amino acid prodrugs have been shown to be transported by LAT1. Carboxylic acid bioisosteres may afford prodrugs with an altered physicochemical and pharmacokinetic profile than those derived from natural amino acids, allowing for higher brain or tumor levels of drug and/or lower toxicity. The effect of replacing phenylalanine’s carboxylic acid with a tetrazole, acylsulfonamide and hydroxamic acid (HA) bioisostere was examined. Compounds were tested for their ability to be LAT1 substrates using both cis-inhibition and trans-stimulation cell assays. As HA-Phe demonstrated weak substrate activity, its structure–activity relationship (SAR) was further explored by synthesis and testing of HA derivatives of other LAT1 amino acid substrates (i.e., Tyr, Leu, Ile, and Met). The potential for a false positive in the trans-stimulation assay caused by parent amino acid was evaluated by conducting compound stability experiments for both HA-Leu and the corresponding methyl ester derivative. We concluded that HA’s are transported by LAT1. In addition, our results lend support to a recent account that amino acid esters are LAT1 substrates, and that hydrogen bonding may be as important as charge for interaction with the transporter binding site.
Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters, 2016, 26, 2616-21
The transporter protein Large-neutral Amino Acid Transporter 1 (LAT-1, SLC7A5) is responsible for transporting amino acids such as tyrosine and phenylalanine as well as thyroid hormones, and it has been exploited as a drug delivery mechanism. Recently its role in cancer has become increasingly appreciated, as it has been found to be up-regulated in many different tumor types, and its expression levels have been correlated with prognosis. Substitution at the meta position of aromatic amino acids has been reported to increase affinity for LAT-1; however, the SAR for this position has not previously been explored. Guided by newly refined computational models of the binding site, we hypothesized that groups capable of filling a hydrophobic pocket would increase binding to LAT-1, resulting in improved substrates relative to parent amino acid. Tyrosine and phenylalanine analogs substituted at the meta position with halogens, alkyl and aryl groups were synthesized and tested in cis-inhibition and trans-stimulation cell assays to determine activity. Contrary to our initial hypothesis we found that lipophilicity was correlated with diminished substrate activity and increased inhibition of the transporter. The synthesis and SAR of meta-substituted phenylalanine and tyrosine analogs is described.