Small-Molecule Inhibition of TNF-α

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Science  11 Nov 2005:
Vol. 310, Issue 5750, pp. 1022-1025
DOI: 10.1126/science.1116304

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We have identified a small-molecule inhibitor of tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) that promotes subunit disassembly of this trimeric cytokine family member. The compound inhibits TNF-α activity in biochemical and cell-based assays with median inhibitory concentrations of 22 and 4.6 micromolar, respectively. Formation of an intermediate complex between the compound and the intact trimer results in a 600-fold accelerated subunit dissociation rate that leads to trimer dissociation. A structure solved by x-ray crystallography reveals that a single compound molecule displaces a subunit of the trimer to form a complex with a dimer of TNF-α subunits.

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