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The ubiquitously expressed ABL1 and ABL2 protein kinases play many important roles in cell function. Although they have been implicated in neuron development, maintenance and signaling, there are no good tool compounds to evaluate the effects of ABL kinase inhibition in the brain. Asciminib is a recently approved drug that specifically and potently inhibits the tyrosine kinase activity of ABL1, ABL2 and that of the chimeric BCR-ABL1 oncoprotein which causes chronic myeloid leukemia. Herein we show that asciminib does not penetrate the intact blood-brain barrier (BBB) following administration to rats, which curtails its utility for assessing the in vivo effects of ABL kinase inhibition in the brain. However, we describe another specific ABL kinase inhibitor, possessing physicochemical characteristics suitable for BBB penetration, and which after administration (either i.v., i.p. or p.o.) to mice achieves substantial, pharmacologically relevant brain concentrations. This bipyridine compound (4) therefore has potential for elucidating the role of ABL kinases in the brain in non-clinical studies. Copyright © 2022 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Paul W Manley, Felix Huth, Saliha Moussaoui, Joseph Schoepfer. A kinase inhibitor which specifically targets the ABL myristate pocket (STAMP), but unlike asciminib crosses the blood-brain barrier. Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters. 2022 Mar 01;59:128577

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PMID: 35065232

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