Chemo-enzymatic synthesis of (E)-2,3-diaryl-5-styryl-trans-2,3-dihydrobenzofuran-based scaffolds and their in vitro and in silico evaluation as a novel sub-family of potential allosteric modulators of the 90 kDa heat shock protein (Hsp90)
Herein we propose a facile, versatile and selective chemo-enzymatic synthesis of substituted (E)-2,3-diaryl-5-styryl-trans-2,3-dihydrobenzofurans based on the exploitation of the laccase-mediated oxidative (homo)coupling of (E)-4-styrylphenols. Thanks to this novel synthetic strategy, a library of benzofuran-based potential allosteric activators of the Heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) was easily prepared. Moreover, considering their structural analogies to previously reported allosteric modulators, the sixteen new compounds synthesized in this work were tested in vitro for their potential stimulatory action on the ATPase activity of the molecular chaperone Hsp90. Combining experimental and computational results, we propose a mechanism of action for these compounds, and expand the structure–activity relationship (SAR) information available for benzofuran-based Hsp90 activators.