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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 154856, 9 pages
Research Article

1-Aryl-3-[4-(thieno[3,2-d]pyrimidin-4-yloxy)phenyl]ureas as VEGFR-2 Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors: Synthesis, Biological Evaluation, and Molecular Modelling Studies

1Centro de Química, Escola de Ciências, Universidade do Minho, Campus de Gualtar, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
2CIQ/Departamento de Química e Bioquímica, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade do Porto, Rua do Campo Alegre, 4169-007 Porto, Portugal
3Departamento de Bioquímica (U38-FCT), Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade do Porto, 4200-319 Porto, Portugal
4Centro de Investigação de Montanha (CIMO), Escola Superior Agrária, Instituto Politécnico de Bragança, Campus de Santa Apolónia, Apartado 1172, 5301-855 Bragança, Portugal

Received 7 April 2013; Revised 12 June 2013; Accepted 13 June 2013

Academic Editor: Carmen Domene

Copyright © 2013 Pedro Soares et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 (VEGFR-2) is a tyrosine kinase receptor involved in the growth and differentiation of endothelial cells that are implicated in tumor-associated angiogenesis. In this study, novel 1-aryl-3-[4-(thieno[3,2-d]pyrimidin-4-yloxy)phenyl]ureas were synthesized and evaluated for the VEGFR-2 tyrosine kinase inhibition. Three of these compounds showed good VEGFR-2 inhibition presenting low IC50 values (150–199 nM) in enzymatic assays, showing also a significant proliferation inhibition of VEGF-stimulated human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) at low concentrations (0.5–1 µM), using the Bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) assay, not affecting cell viability. The determination of the total and phosphorylated (active) VEGFR-2 was performed by western blot, and it was possible to conclude that the compounds significantly inhibit the phosphorylation of the receptor at 1 µM pointing to their antiproliferative mechanism of action in HUVECs. The molecular rationale for inhibiting the tyrosine kinase domain of VEGFR-2 was also performed and discussed using molecular docking studies.