Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase plays a crucial role in immune tolerance and has emerged as an attractive target for cancer immunotherapy. In this study, the Passerini and Ugi multicomponent reactions have been employed to assemble a small library of imidazothiazoles that target IDO1. While the p-bromophenyl and the imidazothiazole moieties have been kept fixed, a full SAR study has been performed on the side-chain, leading to the discovery of nine compounds with sub-micromolar IC50 values in the enzyme-based assay. Compound 7d, displaying a α-acyloxyamide substructure, is the most potent compound, with an IC50 value of 0.20 µM, but a low activity in a cell-based assay. Compound 6o, containing a α-acylaminoamide moiety, shows an IC50 value of 0.81 µM in the IDO1-based assay, a full biocompatibility at 10 µM, together with a modest inhibitory activity in A375 cells. Molecular docking studies show that both 7d and 6o display a unique binding mode in the IDO1 active site, with the side-chain protruding in an additional pocket C, where a crucial hydrogen bond is formed with Lys238. Overall, this work describes an isocyanide based-multicomponent approach as a straightforward and versatile tool to rapidly access IDO1 inhibitors, providing a new direction for their future design and development.
- Cancer immunotherapy
- Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 1
- Multicomponent reactions