An imidazo[1,2-a]pyridine-pyridine derivative potently inhibits FLT3-ITD and FLT3-ITD secondary mutants, including gilteritinib-resistant FLT3-ITD/F691L

Xiuqi Wang, Rosa Anna DeFilippis, Tsigereda Weldemichael, Naresh Gunaganti, Phuc Tran, Yuet Kin Leung, Neil P. Shah, Hong yu Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


FLT3 activating mutations are detected in approximately 30 % of newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cases, most commonly consisting of internal tandem duplication (ITD) mutations in the juxtamembrane region. Recently, several FLT3 inhibitors have demonstrated clinical activity and three are currently approved – midostaurin, quizartinib, and gilteritinib. Midostaurin is a first-generation FLT3 inhibitor with minimal activity as monotherapy. Midostaurin lacks selectivity and is only approved by the USFDA for use in combination with other chemotherapy agents. The second-generation inhibitors quizartinib and gilteritinib display improved specificity and selectivity, and have been approved for use as monotherapy. However, their clinical efficacies are limited in part due to the emergence of drug-resistant FLT3 secondary mutations in the tyrosine kinase domain at positions D835 and F691. Therefore, in order to overcome drug resistance and further improve outcomes, new compounds targeting FLT3-ITD with secondary mutants are urgently needed. In this study, through the structural modification of a reported compound Ling-5e, we identified compound 24 as a FLT3 inhibitor that is equally potent against FLT3-ITD and the clinically relevant mutants FLT3-ITD/D835Y, and FLT3-ITD/F691L. Its inhibitory effects were demonstrated in both cell viability assays and western blots analyses. When tested against cell lines lacking activating mutations in FLT3, no non-specific cytotoxicity effect was observed. Interestingly, molecular docking results showed that compound 24 may adopt different binding conformations with FLT3-F691L compared to FLT3, which may explain its retained activity against FLT3-ITD/F691L. In summary, compound 24 has inhibition potency on FLT3 comparable to gilteritinib, but a more balanced inhibition on FLT3 secondary mutations, especially FLT3-ITD/F691L which is gilteritinib resistant. Compound 24 may serve as a promising lead for the drug development of either primary or relapsed AML with FLT3 secondary mutations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number115977
JournalEuropean Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
StatePublished - Jan 15 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • AML
  • Cancer
  • FLT3-ITD
  • Mutation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Drug Discovery
  • Pharmacology
  • Organic Chemistry


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