Bromodomains and their pharmacological inhibitors

Daniel Gallenkamp, Kathy A Gelato, Bernard Haendler, Hilmar Weinmann
ChemMedChem 2014, 9 (3): 438-64
Over 60 bromodomains belonging to proteins with very different functions have been identified in humans. Several of them interact with acetylated lysine residues, leading to the recruitment and stabilization of protein complexes. The bromodomain and extra-terminal domain (BET) proteins contain tandem bromodomains which bind to acetylated histones and are thereby implicated in a number of DNA-centered processes, including the regulation of gene expression. The recent identification of inhibitors of BET and non-BET bromodomains is one of the few examples in which effective blockade of a protein-protein interaction can be achieved with a small molecule. This has led to major strides in the understanding of the function of bromodomain-containing proteins and their involvement in diseases such as cancer and inflammation. Indeed, BET bromodomain inhibitors are now being clinically evaluated for the treatment of hematological tumors and have also been tested in clinical trials for the relatively rare BRD-NUT midline carcinoma. This review gives an overview of the newest developments in the field, with a focus on the biology of selected bromodomain proteins on the one hand, and on reported pharmacological inhibitors on the other, including recent examples from the patent literature.

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