The Discovery of Potent SHP2 Inhibitors with Anti-Proliferative Activity in Breast Cancer Cell Lines

Rose Ghemrawi, Mostafa Khair, Shaima Hasan, Raghad Aldulaymi, Shaikha S. Alneyadi, Noor Atatreh, Mohammad A. Ghattas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite available treatments, breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death. Knowing that the tyrosine phosphatase SHP2 is a regulator in tumorigenesis, developing inhibitors of SHP2 in breast cells is crucial. Our study investigated the effects of new compounds, purchased from NSC, on the phosphatase activity of SHP2 and the modulation of breast cancer cell lines’ proliferation and viability. A combined ligand-based and structure-based virtual screening protocol was validated, then performed, against SHP2 active site. Top ranked compounds were tested via SHP2 enzymatic assay, followed by measuring IC50 values. Subsequently, hits were tested for their anti-breast cancer viability and proliferative activity. Our experiments identified three compounds 13030, 24198, and 57774 as SHP2 inhibitors, with IC50 values in micromolar levels and considerable selectivity over the analogous enzyme SHP1. Long MD simulations of 500 ns showed a very promising binding mode in the SHP2 catalytic pocket. Furthermore, these compounds significantly reduced MCF-7 breast cancer cells’ proliferation and viability. Interestingly, two of our hits can have acridine or phenoxazine cyclic system known to intercalate in ds DNA. Therefore, our novel approach led to the discovery of SHP2 inhibitors, which could act as a starting point in the future for clinically useful anticancer agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4468
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 1 2022


  • breast cancer
  • enzyme inhibitors
  • protein tyrosine phosphatase SHP2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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