Many cellular protein-protein interactions (PPIs) are mediated by phosphoserine. The specific targeting of these PPIs by phosphoserine-containing small molecules has been scarce due to the dephosphorylation of phosphoserine and its charged nature at physiological pH, which hinders its uptake into cells. To address these issues, we herein report the masking of the phosphate group of phosphoserine with biocleavable aryloxy triester phosphoramidate groups. A combination of in vitro enzymatic assays and in silico studies, using carboxypeptidase Y and Hint-1 respectively, showed that the phosphate masking groups are metabolized to release phosphoserine. To probe the applicability of this phosphoserine masking approach, it was applied to a phosphoserine-containing inhibitor of 14-3-3 dimerization, and this generated molecules with improved pharmacological activity in cells compared to their unmasked phosphoserine-containing parent compound. Collectively, the data showcases the masking of phosphoserine with biocleavable aryloxy triester phosphoramidate masking groups as an efficient intracellular delivery system for phosphoserine-containing molecules.
Ageo pSer ChemRxiv SI