5-Phenyl-1,3,4-oxadiazol-2(3H)-ones Are Potent Inhibitors of Notum Carboxylesterase Activity Identified by the Optimization of a Crystallographic Fragment Screening Hit


Carboxylesterase Notum is a negative regulator of the Wnt signaling pathway. There is an emerging understanding of the role Notum plays in disease, supporting the need to discover new small-molecule inhibitors. A crystallographic X-ray fragment screen was performed, which identified fragment hit 1,2,3-triazole 7 as an attractive starting point for a structure-based drug design hit-to-lead program. Optimization of 7 identified oxadiazol-2-one 23dd as a preferred example with properties consistent with drug-like chemical space. Screening 23dd in a cell-based TCF/LEF reporter gene assay restored the activation of Wnt signaling in the presence of Notum. Mouse pharmacokinetic studies with oral administration of 23dd demonstrated good plasma exposure and partial blood-brain barrier penetration. Significant progress was made in developing fragment hit 7 into lead 23dd (>600-fold increase in activity), making it suitable as a new chemical tool for exploring the role of Notum-mediated regulation of Wnt signaling.

Journal details

Volume 63
Issue number 21
Pages 12942-12956
Available online
Publication date