Discovery of sulfonamidebenzamides as selective apoptotic CHOP pathway activators of the unfolded protein response

Daniel P. Flaherty, Justin R. Miller, Danielle M. Garshott, Michael Hedrick, Palak Gosalia, Yujie Li, Monika Milewski, Eliot Sugarman, Stefan Vasile, Sumeet Salaniwal, Ying Su, Layton H. Smith, Thomas D.Y. Chung, Anthony B. Pinkerton, Jeffrey Aubé, Michael U. Callaghan, Jennifer E. Golden, Andrew M. Fribley, Randal J. Kaufman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Cellular proteins that fail to fold properly result in inactive or disfunctional proteins that can have toxic functions. The unfolded protein response (UPR) is a two-tiered cellular mechanism initiated by eukaryotic cells that have accumulated misfolded proteins within the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). An adaptive pathway facilitates the clearance of the undesired proteins; however, if overwhelmed, cells trigger apoptosis by upregulating transcription factors such as C/EBP-homologous protein (CHOP). A high throughput screen was performed directed at identifying compounds that selectively upregulate the apoptotic CHOP pathway while avoiding adaptive signaling cascades, resulting in a sulfonamidebenzamide chemotype that was optimized. These efforts produced a potent and selective CHOP inducer (AC50 = 0.8 μM; XBP1 > 80 μM), which was efficacious in both mouse embryonic fibroblast cells and a human oral squamous cell cancer cell line, and demonstrated antiproliferative effects for multiple cancer cell lines in the NCI-60 panel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1278-1283
Number of pages6
JournalACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 11 2014


  • CHOP activator
  • UPR apoptotic pathway activator
  • UPR modulator
  • anticancer


Dive into the research topics of 'Discovery of sulfonamidebenzamides as selective apoptotic CHOP pathway activators of the unfolded protein response'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this