Like most solid tumors, glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) harbors multiple overexpressed and mutated genes that affect several signaling pathways. Suppressing tumor growth of solid tumors like GBM without toxicity may be achieved by small molecules that selectively modulate a collection of targets across different signaling pathways, also known as selective polypharmacology. Phenotypic screening can be an effective method to uncover such compounds, but the lack of approaches to create focused libraries tailored to tumor targets has limited its impact. Here, we create rational libraries for phenotypic screening by structure-based molecular docking chemical libraries to GBM-specific targets identified using the tumor's RNA sequence and mutation data along with cellular protein-protein interaction data. Screening this enriched library of 47 candidates led to several active compounds, including 1 (IPR-2025), which (i) inhibited cell viability of low-passage patient-derived GBM spheroids with single-digit micromolar IC50 values that are substantially better than standard-of-care temozolomide, (ii) blocked tube-formation of endothelial cells in Matrigel with submicromolar IC50 values, and (iii) had no effect on primary hematopoietic CD34+ progenitor spheroids or astrocyte cell viability. RNA sequencing provided the potential mechanism of action for 1, and mass spectrometry-based thermal proteome profiling confirmed that the compound engages multiple targets. The ability of 1 to inhibit GBM phenotypes without affecting normal cell viability suggests that our screening approach may hold promise for generating lead compounds with selective polypharmacology for the development of treatments of incurable diseases like GBM.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine