Screening for protein kinase CK2 inhibitors of the structural diversity compound library (DTP NCI/NIH) led to the discovery of 4-[(E)-(fluoren-9-ylidenehydrazinylidene)-methyl]benzoic acid (E9). E9 induces apoptotic cell death in various cancer cell lines and upon hypoxia, the compound suppresses CK2-catalyzed HSP90/Cdc37 phosphorylation and induces HIF-1alpha degradation. Furthermore, E9 exerts a strong anti-tumour activity by inducing necrosis in murine xenograft models underlining its potential to be used for cancer treatment in future clinical studies. Crystal structure analysis of human and maize CK2alpha in complex with E9 reveals unique binding properties of the inhibitor to the enzyme, accounting for its affinity and selectivity.
Cancer Letters, 2015, Vol 356, Issue 2 Pt B, p. 751-761