Abstract The central role of Src in tumor progression and metastasis has validated it as an attractive therapeutic target for the treatment of human breast cancer. The aim of this study was to identify potential Src kinase inhibitor, explore its activity, and mechanism of action in human breast cancer. A strategy integrating focused combinato- rial library design, virtual screening, chemical synthesis, and high-throughput screening was adopted and a novel 6-hydrazinopurine-based inhibitor of c-Src kinase PH006 was obtained. The kinase enzymatic activities were mea- sured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The bind- ing mode between PH006 and Src was profiled by surface plasmon resonance approach and molecular simulation. The anti-proliferative activity was evaluated by Sulforhod- amin B (SRB) and Colony formation. The anti-invasion and anti-migration activities were assessed by trans-well and wound healing assay. Results indicated that PH006 was an ATP-competitive Src inhibitor, which selectively inhibited c-Src with an IC50 of 0.38 lM among a panel of 14 diverse tyrosine kinases. PH006 potently inhibited c-Src phosphorylation and c-Src-dependent signal transduction, resulting in inhibition of cell proliferation, migration, and invasion in human breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cells. Further study demonstrated that the anti-proliferative activity of PH006 was ascribed to its capability to arrest cells in G1 phase, while its anti-motility activity was related to suppression of MMP2/9 and HGF secretion. Moreover, PH006 exhibited potent activity against tumor growth as well as metastasis of human breast cancer MDA-MB-435 xenograft beard in nude mice, which was accompanied with reduced Src/FAK signaling in tumor tissue. Taken together, PH006 is a novel selective inhibitor of c-Src and possesses potent activity against breast cancer growth and metastasis, which could be potentially devel- oped as a lead candidate against breast cancers with elevated Src tyrosine kinase activity.

Keywords PH006, Src kinase, Breast cancer, Anti-metastasis