In this study, we report on the design, synthesis, photokinetic properties and in vitro
evaluation of photoactivatable caged prodrugs for the receptor tyrosine kinase VEGFR-2. Highly potent VEGFR-2 inhibitors 1 and 3 were caged by introduction of a photoremovable protecting group (PPG) to yield the caged prodrugs 4 and 5. As expected, enzymatic and cellular proliferation assays showed dramatically diminished efficacy of caged prodrugs in vitro
. Upon ultraviolet (UV) irradiation of the prodrugs original inhibitory activity was completely restored and even distinctly reinforced, as was the case for the prodrug 4. The presented results are a further evidence for caging technique being an interesting approach in the protein kinase field. It could enable spatial and temporal control for the inhibition of VEGFR-2. The described photoactivatable prodrugs might be highly useful as biological probes for studying the VEGFR-2 signal transduction.
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