Development of protein kinase inhibitors is a focus of many drug discovery programs. A major problem, however, is the limited specificity of the commonly used adenosine triphosphate-competitive inhibitors and the weak inhibition of the more selective substrate-competitive inhibitors. Glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) is a promising drug target for treating neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's disease (AD), but most GSK-3 inhibitors have not reached the clinic. We describe a new type of GSK-3 inhibitor, L807mts, that acts through a substrate-to-inhibitor conversion mechanism that occurs within the catalytic site of the enzyme. We determined that L807mts was a potent and highly selective GSK-3 inhibitor with reasonable pharmacological and safety properties when tested in rodents. Treatment with L807mts enhanced the clearance of b amyloid loads, reduced inflammation, enhanced autophagic flux, and improved cognitive and social skills in the 5XFAD AD mouse model. This new modality of GSK-3 inhibition may be therapeutic in patients with AD or other central nervous system disorders associated with dysregulated GSK-3.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology