Identification and optimisation of 7-azaindole PAK1 inhibitors with improved potency and kinase selectivity†
A novel series of PAK1 inhibitors was discovered from a kinase directed screen. SAR exploration in the selectivity pocket and solvent tail regions was conducted to understand and optimise PAK1 potency and selectivity against targeted kinases. A liganded PAK1 crystal structure was utilised to guide compound design. Permeability and kinase selectivity impacted the translation of enzyme to cellular PAK1 potency. Compound 36 (AZ-PAK-36) demonstrated improved Gini coefficient, good PAK1 cellular potency and has utility as a tool compound for target validation studies.