SCR7 is neither a selective nor a potent inhibitor of human DNA ligase IV.
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DNA ligases are attractive therapeutics because of their involvement in completing the repair of almost all types of DNA damage. A series of DNA ligase inhibitors with differing selectivity for the three human DNA ligases were identified using a structure-based approach with one of these inhibitors being used to inhibit abnormal DNA ligase IIIα-dependent repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSB)s in breast cancer, neuroblastoma and leukemia cell lines. Raghavan and colleagues reported the characterization of a derivative of one of the previously identified DNA ligase inhibitors, which they called SCR7 (designated SCR7-R in our experiments using SCR7). SCR7 appeared to show increased selectivity for DNA ligase IV, inhibit the repair of DSBs by the DNA ligase IV-dependent non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) pathway, reduce tumor growth, and increase the efficacy of DSB-inducing therapeutic modalities in mouse xenografts. In attempting to synthesize SCR7, we encountered problems with the synthesis procedures and discovered discrepancies in its reported structure. We determined the structure of a sample of SCR7 and a related compound, SCR7-G, that is the major product generated by the published synthesis procedure for SCR7. We also found that SCR7-G has the same structure as the compound (SCR7-X) available from a commercial vendor (XcessBio). The various SCR7 preparations had similar activity in DNA ligation assay assays, exhibiting greater activity against DNA ligases I and III than DNA ligase IV. Furthermore, SCR7-R failed to inhibit DNA ligase IV-dependent V(D)J recombination in a cell-based assay. Based on our results, we conclude that SCR7 and the SCR7 derivatives are neither selective nor potent inhibitors of DNA ligase IV.Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.