Protéines ABC, membranes et passage membranaire  
Optimization of the Chromone Scaffold through QSAR and Docking Studies: Identification of Potent Inhibitors of ABCG2  
E. Roussel, V.-K. Tran-Nguyen, K. Bouhedjar, M.-A. Dems, A. Belaidi, B. Matougui, B. Peres, A. Azioune, O. Renaudet, P. Falson and A. Boumendjel
Eur. J. Med. Chem. In press
The membrane transporter BCRP/ABCG2 has emerged as a privileged biological target for the development of small compounds capable of abolishing multidrug resistance. In this context, the chromone skeleton was found as an excellent scaffold for the design of ABCG2 inhibitors. With the aims of optimizing and developing more potent and selective modulators of the transporter, we herewith propose a multidisciplinary medicinal chemistry approach performed on this promising scaffold. A quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) study on a series of chromone derivatives was first carried out, giving a robust model that was next applied to the design of 13 novel compounds derived from this nucleus. Two of the most active according to the model’s prediction (compounds 22 and 31) were synthesized and had their biological potency evaluated by experimental assays, confirming their high inhibitory activity against ABCG2 (experimental EC50 below 0.10 µM). A supplementary docking study was then conducted on the newly designed derivatives, proposing possible binding modes of these novel molecules in the putative ligand-binding site of the transporter and explaining why the two aforementioned compounds exerted the best activity according to biological data. Results from this study are recommended as references for further research in hopes of discovering new potent inhibitors of ABCG2.