Discovery of a novel RIPK2 inhibitor for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease

  • Impact factors: 5.8
  • Publication: BIOCHEMICAL PHARMACOLOGY
  • Author:Yujun Lai, Xinhui Wang, Xue Sun, Shuwei Wu, Xin Chen, Chengkui Yang, Wei Zhang, Xiaoliang Yu, Yushan Tong, Feng Ma, Heng Zheng, Xiaohu Zhang, Sudan He
  • DOI citation-doi:10.1016/j.bcp.2023.115647
  • Date:2023-06-12

Nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-containing protein 1 and 2 (NOD 1/2) are important cytosolic pattern recognition receptors that initiate host immune response. The dysregulation of NOD signaling is highly associated with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that needs novel treatment options. Receptor-interacting protein kinase 2 (RIPK2) is a critical mediator of NOD signaling and considered a promising therapeutic target for IBD treatment. However, there are currently no RIPK2 inhibitors available for clinical use. Here, we report the discovery and characterization of Zharp2-1 as a novel and potent RIPK2 inhibitor that effectively blocks RIPK2 kinase function and NOD-mediated NF-κB/MAPK activation in both human and mouse cell lines. Zharp2-1 exhibits significantly superior solubility compared to the non-prodrug form of the advanced RIPK2 inhibitor prodrug GSK2983559. The improved solubility combined with favorable in vitro metabolic stability translated to excellent in vivo pharmacokinetic profiles for Zharp2-1. In addition, Zharp2-1 demonstrates better effects than GSK2983559 in inhibiting the muramyl dipeptide (MDP)-induced production of pro-inflammatory cytokines in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and MDP-induced peritonitis in mice. Furthermore, Zharp2-1 markedly reduces Listeria monocytogenes infection-induced cytokines release in both human and mouse cells. Importantly, Zharp2-1 significantly ameliorates DNBS-induced colitis in rats and suppressed pro-inflammatory cytokine release in intestinal specimens from IBD patients. Collectively, our findings indicate that Zharp2-1 is a promising RIPK2 inhibitor with the potential to be further developed for IBD therapy.

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