Kamel Metwally* and Nader E. Abo-Dya
Tyrosine kinases are implicated in a wide array of cellular physiological processes, including cell signaling. The discovery of the BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase inhibitor imatinib and its FDA approval in 2001 paved the way for the development of small molecule chemical entities of diverse structural backgrounds as tyrosine kinase inhibitors for the treatment of various ailments. Two of the most prominent tyrosine kinases as drug targets are the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR), as evidenced by the clinical success of their many inhibitors in the drug market. Among several other physiological roles, EGFR regulates epithelial tissue development and homeostasis, while VEGFR regulates tumor-induced angiogenesis. The pyrrolo[2,3-d]pyrimidine nucleus represents a deaza-isostere of adenine, the nitrogenous base of ATP. The recent introduction of many pyrrolo[2,3-d]pyrimidines to the drug market as tyrosine kinase inhibitors makes them a hot topic in the medicinal chemistry research area at the present time. This review article comprehensively sheds light on the structure-activity relationship (SAR) of pyrrolo[2,3-d]pyrimidines as EGFR and VEGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors, aiming to provide help medicinal chemists in the design of future pyrrolopyrimidine kinase inhibitors.