Chemical–physical analysis of a tartrate model compound for TACE inhibition†
We have synthesized and done an extensive chemical–physical analysis of the behavior of a new compound, named MBET306, a synthetic precursor of the recently discovered tartrate-based inhibitors of the protein Tumor Necrosis factor-α Converting Enzyme (TACE). Experimental and theoretical data have shown that in water solution MBET306 is overwhelmingly found as a monoanion at physiological pH, in a conformation that differs substantially from that detected in the known co-crystal structures of MBET306 derivatives bound to TACE. The body of collected experimental and theoretical data indicates that the monoanionic species binds Zn(II) inducing a strong stabilization of the crystal-like arrangement of the central tartrate zinc-binding group, lending support for a two step TACE docking mechanism via a zinc-bound intermediate. The thorough chemical–physical characterization of the conformational behavior of free and zinc-bound MBET306 in water bulk solution opens new avenues for the rational drug design of tartrate-based highly specific TACE inhibitors.