Crystal structure-based comparison of two NAMPT inhibitors

Authors: Sai-long ZHANG1, Tian-ying XU1, Zhen-lin YANG2, Shuo HAN2, Qiang ZHAO2, Chao-yu MIAO1,3
1 Department of Pharmacology, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai 200433, China
2 CAS Key Laboratory of Receptor Research, Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 201203, China
3 Center of Stroke, Beijing Institute for Brain Disorders, Beijing 100069, China
Corresponding to: Qiang ZHAO:, Chao-yu MIAO:,
DOI: 10.1038/aps.2017.80
Received: 13 March 2017
Accepted: 11 May 2017
Advance online: 31 August 2017


Inhibition of nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT) is a novel strategy for cancer therapy, but only two inhibitors of NAMPT (FK866 and CHS828) have progressed into clinical trials. This study seeks to compare a novel potent NAMPT inhibitor, MS0, with a classical inhibitor FK866 in their biological activity and molecular binding mode, thereby contributing to future chemical optimization and a further understanding of the action mode of NAMPT inhibitors. The IC50 values of MS0 and FK866 in inhibition of recombinant human NAMPT activity were 9.08±0.90 and 1.60±0.32 nmol/L, respectively. Consistently, FK866 exerted better antiproliferation in 6 human cancer cell lines (HepG2, A2780, 95-D, A549, U2OS and U266) than MS0 with IC50 values nearly 12-fold to 225-fold lower than those of MS0. Co-crystal structures of wild-type human NAMPT complexed with MS0 or FK866 were elucidated, which revealed that MS0 did not interact with Ser241. The hydrogen bond mediated by crystallographic water between MS0 and His191 or Val350 of NAMPT did not exist in FK866. Instead, FK866 exhibited hydrophobic interactions with Arg349. Based on the activity assays and crystal structure analyses, we elaborate the reason why the antiproliferation activity of MS0 was not as good as that of FK866, which would contributes to the current understanding of the mode of action of NAMPT inhibitors and will also contribute to further development of anticancer drugs in the future.
Keywords: nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT); FK866; MS0; anticancer drugs; antiproliferation; crystal structure; binding mode