All clinically used antifolates lack transport selectivity for tumors over normal cells resulting in dose-limiting toxicities. There is growing interest in developing novel tumor-targeted cytotoxic antifolates with selective transport into tumors over normal cells via the proton-coupled folate transporter (PCFT) over the ubiquitously expressed reduced folate carrier (RFC). A lack of X-ray crystal structures or predictive models for PCFT or RFC has hindered structure-aided drug design for PCFT-selective therapeutics. Four-point validated models (pharmacophores) were generated for PCFT/Activity (HBA, NI, RA, RA) and RFC/Activity (HBD, NI, HBA, HBA) based on inhibition (IC 50 ) of proliferation of isogenic Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells engineered to express only human PCFT or only RFC. Our results revealed substantial differences in structural features required for transport of novel molecules by these transporters which can be utilized for developing transporter-selective antifolates.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
- Materials Chemistry