LSD1 modulation by allosteric ligands

30 March 2019

Emond WB, Geitmann M, Jarvius M, Koehler K, Källblad P, Niklasson M, Parrow V, Sawant R, Sjöberg M, Winquist J, Segerman A, Bremberg U. LSD1 modulation by allosteric ligands [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2019; 2019 Mar 29-Apr 3; Atlanta, GA. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2019;79(13 Suppl):Abstract nr 3843.

LSD1 has emerged as a potential therapeutic target for a number of cancer types (e.g. AML, SCLC, colorectal, breast, liver, prostate, glioblastoma, Ewing sarcoma), as well as sickle cell anaemia and Alzheimer’s disease. Irreversible LSD1 catalytic inhibitors have shown limited clinical efficacy in AML and SCLC, while solid tumours are largely unaddressed. This is in contrast to LSD1 knockdown with impact on a wide range of cancers, indicating that LSD1 functions other than enzymatic should be targeted.

We have developed novel small molecules that modulate LSD1 via an allosteric site - without inhibiting its enzymatic function - inducing a 60% reduction of nuclear LSD1 levels. The sensitivity profile in a cancer cell line panel is unique and dissimilar to >300 diverse reference compounds. In vitro efficacy is observed in glioma-initiating clones that are highly resistant to standard-of-care temozolimide as well as catalytic LSD1 inhibitors. Efficacy in the sub-µM range is observed with other solid tumour models, e.g. prostate cancer. The compounds exhibit synergy (Bliss independence >40%) with HDAC inhibitors as evaluated by viability in cellular cancer models, including lung, liver and glioblastoma.

Pharmacokinetic studies show good blood-brain-barrier penetration and oral availability of the allosteric LSD1 modulator BEA-17. A repeat dose of 25 mg/kg was well tolerated by NOD SCID mice, leading to µM level accumulation in the brain. Results from orthotopic glioblastoma PDX models, and in vivo hollow-fiber models of other solid tumours will be presented, as well as mechanistic insights from biophysical assays and gene expression analysis.

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