Drug usefulnessis frequently obstructed by the incidence of the multidrug resistance (MDR) phenotype and severe adverse effects. Exploiting collateral sensitive(CS)agents (in this case also called MDR-selective agents), which selectively target only MDR cells, is an emerging and novel approach to overcome MDR in cancer treatment. In prior studies, we found that 4′-methyl-6,6,8-triethyldesmosdumotin B (4′-Me-TEDB, 2) is an MDR-selective synthetic flavonoid with significant in vitro anticancer activity against a MDR cell line (KB-Vin) but without activity against the parent cells (KB) as well as other non-MDR tumor cells. Our recent results suggest the absolute MDR-selectivity varies depending on the cell-line system. In order to explore this further and to better understand the critical pharmacophores, we have synthesized nine novel analogues of 2, which contain heteroaromatic as well ascycloalkyl B-rings. The new compounds were evaluated for cytotoxicity to explore the effect of B-ring modifications on MDR-selectivity. All analogues, except 7, 9 and 10, were identified as significant MDR-selective compounds. This observation solidifies the importance of the 5-hydroxy-6,8,8-trialkyl-4H-chromene-4,7(8H)-dione skeleton (AC-ring system) for the pharmacological activity and establishes the B-ring as less critical for the broader spectrum MDR-selectivity. Notably, 3-furanyl (3)and 2-thiophenyl (6)analogues displayed substantial MDR–selectivity with KB/KB-Vin ratios of >12 and 16, respectively. Furthermore, 3 and 6 also exhibited MDR–selectivity in a second set of paired cell lines, the MDR/non-MDR hepatoma-cell system. Interestingly, a cyclohexyl analogue (11) showed moderate inhibition of A549, DU145, and PC-3 cell growth, while the other compounds were inactive. These new findings are discussed in terms of current understanding of mechanism and structure–activity relationship (SAR) of our novel MDR-selective flavonoids.
Triethyldesmosdumotin B; Multi-drug resistance; MDR-selectivity (collateral sensitivity); Heteroaromatic ring; Cycloalkyl ring
C-6 Esterifications of delpheline (1) were carried out to provide 20 new diterpenoid alkaloid derivatives (4–22, 24). Three natural alkaloids (1–3) and all synthesized compounds (4–25) were evaluated for cytotoxic activity against lung (A549), prostate (DU145), nasopharyngeal (KB), and vincristine-resistant nasopharyngeal (KB-VIN) cancer cell lines and interestingly, showed an improved drug resistance profile compared to paclitaxel. Particularly, 6-(4-fluoro-3-methylbenzoyl)delpheline (22) displayed 2.6-fold greater potency against KB-VIN cells compared with the parental non-drug resistant KB cells. 6-Acylation of 1 appears to be critical for producing cytotoxic activity in this alkaloid class and a means to provide promising new leads for further development into antitumor agents.
Delpheline; C19-diterpenoid alkaloid; Cytotoxicity
The analysis of the aerial parts of Bonannia graeca led to the isolation and characterization of two new polar geranylated flavonoids (6 and 7). The structure elucidation was performed by extensive spectroscopic methods (1D and 2D NMR) and comparison with literature data. All natural flavonoids isolated from B. graeca (1–7) and some synthetic derivatives (8–11) were tested for cytotoxic activity against four human tumor cell lines. Preliminary structure-activity relationship correlations are discussed.
Bonannia graeca; Apiaceae; Geranylflavonoids; Cytotoxic Activity
Two new saponins, panajaponol (1) and pseudoginsenoside RT1 butyl ester (2), together with 35 known compounds (3–37), were isolated from the roots of Panax japonicus. The structures of 1 and 2 were elucidated on the basis of spectroscopic analysis and chemical methods. Furthermore, a LC-MS/MS method was developed for confirming 2, 3, and 8 as natural compounds containing a butyl ester group. This method should be useful for distinguishing between minor natural and artifactual compounds in Panax species. Moreover, compounds 3, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, and 15 exhibited strong inhibition of superoxide anion generation and elastase release by human neutrophils in response to formyl-L-methionyl-L-leucyl-L-phenylalanine/cytochalasin B (fMLP/CB), with IC50 values ranging from 0.78 to 43.6 μM. In addition, 1 showed greater than two- to three-fold selective cytotoxic activity against KB and DU145 cancer cell lines.
(ATBO) analogs were found to be significant in vitro anticancer agents in our
previous research. Our continuing study has now discovered a new simplified
(monocyclic rather than tricyclic) class of cytotoxic agents,
4-amino-2H-pyran-2-one (APO) analogs. By incorporating
various substituents on the pyranone ring, we have established preliminary
structure-activity relationships (SAR). Analogs 19, 20,
23, and 26–30 displayed significant tumor
cell growth inhibitory activity in vitro. The most active compound
27 exhibited ED50 values of 0.059–0.090
4-Amino-2H-pyran-2-one (APO) analogs; Neo-tanshinlactone; Cytotoxicity
A series of novel bichalcone analogs were synthesized and evaluated in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-activated microglial cells as inhibitors of nitric oxide (NO) and for in vitro anticancer activity using a limited panel of four human cancer cell lines. All analogs inhibited NO production. Compounds 4 and 11 exhibited optimal activity with IC50 values of 0.3 and 0.5 µM, respectively, and were at least 38-fold better than the positive control. A mechanism of action study showed that both compounds significantly blocked the nuclear translocation of NF-κB p65 and up-regulation of iNOS at 1.0 µM. Compound 4 and three other analogs (3, 20, and 23) exerted significant in vitro anticancer activity GI50 values ranging from 0.70~13.10 µM. A mode of action study using HT-29 colon cancer cells showed that 23 acts by inducing apoptosis signaling.
bichalcone analogs; nitric oxide production inhibition; cytotoxicity; apoptosis
We previously reported that the biological activity of analogues of desmosdumotin B (1) was dramatically changed depending on the B-ring system. A naphthalene B-ring analogue 3 exerted potent in vitro activity against a diverse panel of human tumor cell lines with GI50 values of 0.8–2.1 μM. In contrast, 1-analogues with a phenyl B-ring showed unique selective activity against P-glycoprotein (P-gp) overexpressing multidrug resistance cell line. We have now prepared and evaluated 1-analogues with bicyclic or tricyclic aromatic B-ring systems as in vitro inhibitors of human cancer cell line proliferation. Among all synthesized derivatives, 21 with a benzo[b]thiophenyl B-ring was highly active, with GI50 values of 0.06–0.16 μM, and this activity was not influenced by overexpression of P-gp. Furthermore, 21 inhibited tubulin assembly in vitro with an IC 50 value of 2.0 μM and colchicine binding by 78% as well as cellular microtubule polymerization and spindle formation.
In our ongoing study of the desmosdumotin C (1) series, twelve new analogues, 21–32, mainly with structural modifications in ring-A, were prepared and evaluated for in vitro antiproliferative activity against several human tumor cell lines. Among them, the 4′-iodo-3,3,5-tripropyl-4-methoxy analogue (31) showed significant antiproliferative activity against multiple human tumor cell lines with ED50 values of 1.1–2.8 μM. Elongation of the C-3 and C-5 carbon chains reduced activity relative to propyl substituted analogues; however, activity was still better than that of natural compound 1. Among analogues with various ether groups on C-4, compounds with methyl (2) and propyl (26) ethers inhibited cell growth of multiple tumor cells lines, while 28 with an isobutyl ether showed selective antiproliferative activity against lung cancer A549 cells (ED50 1.7 μM). The gene expression profiles showed that 3 may modulate the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) and chromosome separation, and thus, arrest cells at the G2/M-phase.
Desmosdumotin C; Antiproliferative activity; Human tumor cell lines; Microarray
In our ongoing modification study of neo-tanshinlactone (1), we discovered 2-(furan-2-yl)naphthalen-1-ol (FNO) derivatives 3 and 4 as a new class of anti-tumor agents. To explore structure-activity relationships (SAR) of this scaffold, 18 new analogs, 6–12 and 14–24, were designed and synthesized. The C11-esters 7 and 12 displayed broad anti-tumor activity (ED50 1.1–4.3 µg/mL against seven cancer cell lines), while C11-hydroxymethyl 14 showed unique selectivity against the SKBR-3 breast cancer cell line (ED50 0.73 µg/mL). Compounds 15 and 22 displayed potent and selective anti-breast tumor activity (ED50 1.7 and 0.85 µg/mL, respectively, against MDA-MB-231). The SAR results demonstrated that the substitutions from the ring-opened lactone ring C of 1 are critical to the anti-tumor potency as well as the apparent tumor-tissue type selectivity. Treatment with 3 in Brca1f11/f11p53f5&6/f5&6Crec mice models significantly inhibited the proliferation of mammary epithelial cells and branching of mammary glands.
2-(furan-2-yl)naphthalen-1-ol analogs; structure-activity relationships; anti-breast tumor agents
In our exploration of new biologically active chemical entities, we designed and synthesized a novel class of antitumor agents, substituted 4-amino-7,8,9,10-tetrahydro-2H-benzo[h]chromen-2-one (ATBO) analogs. We evaluated their cytotoxic activity against seven human tumor cell lines from different tissues, and established preliminary structure-activity relationships (SAR). All analogues, except 8, 9, and 25-27, displayed potent tumor cell growth inhibitory activity. Especially, compounds 15 and 33 with a 4-methoxyphenyl group at position C-4 were extremely potent with ED50 values of 0.008-0.064 μM and 0.035-0.32 μM, respectively. Compound 15 was the most potent analog compared with structurally related neo-tanshinlactone (e.g., 1) and 4-amino-2H-benzo[h]chromen-2-one (ABO, e.g., 4) analogs, and thus merits further exploration as an anti-cancer drug candidate.
4-Amino-7,8,9,10-tetrahydro-2H-benzo[h]chromen-2-ones (ATBO); Cytotoxic activity; Neo-tanshinlactone
In this study, various 3′R,4′R-disubstituted-2′,2′-dimethydihydropyrano[2,3-f]chromone (DSP) derivatives were discovered as potent chemosensitizers in the treatment of multidrug resistant cancer cells. Twenty-four DSP analogs (5–28) were synthesized and evaluated against a multi-drug resistant (MDR) cell line (KB-Vin) with and without vincristine (VCR). All DSP analogs exhibited low intrinsic cytotoxicity. However, in combination treatment, most DSPs reversed resistance to VCR and lowered the GI50 value of VCR by 12–349-fold. At a concentration of 1μg/mL, three compounds, 11, 14 and 21, fully reversed resistance to VCR in KB-Vin cancer cells, a twofold increase compared to verapamil, a first generation chemosensitizer. Detailed structure-activity relationship (SAR) conclusions were established based on 3′ and 4′ substitutions. Moreover, a preliminary mechanism study indicated that the chemosensitizing activity of DSP analogs results from inhibition of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) over-expressed in MDR cancer cells.1
Ten new triterpenoids, camphoratins A–J (1–10), along with 12 known compounds were isolated from the fruiting body of Taiwanofungus camphoratus. Their structures were established by spectroscopic analysis and chemical methods. Compound 10 is the first example of a naturally occurring ergosteroid with an unusual cis-C/D ring junction. Compounds 2–6 and 11 showed moderate to potent cytotoxicity with EC50 values ranging from 0.3 to 3 μM against KB and KB-VIN human cancer cell lines. Compounds 6, 10, 11, 14–16, 18, and 21 exhibited anti-inflammatory NO-production inhibition activity with IC50 values of less than 5 μM, which was more potent than the nonspecific NOS inhibitor Nω-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME).
A new quassinoid, designated 2′-(R)-O-acetylglaucarubinone (1), and seven known quassinoids (2–8) were isolated, using bioactivity-guided separation, from the bark of Odyendyea gabonensis (Pierre) Engler [syn. Quassia gabonensis Pierre (Simaroubaceae)]. The structure of 1 was determined by spectroscopic analysis, and by semi-synthesis from glaucarubolone. Complete 1H and 13C NMR assignments of compounds 1–8 were also established from detailed analysis of two-dimensional NMR spectra, and the reported configurations in odyendene (7) and odyendane (8) were corrected. Compound 1 showed potent cytotoxicity against multiple cancer cell lines. Further investigation using various types of breast and ovarian cancer cell lines suggested that 1 does not target the estrogen receptor (ER) or progesterone receptor (PR). When tested against mammary epithelial proliferation in vivo using a Brca1/p53-deficient mice model, 1 also caused significant reduction in mammary duct branching.
6,6,8-Triethyldesmosdumotin B (2) was discovered as a MDR–selective flavonoid with significant in vitro anticancer activity against a multi-drug resistant (MDR) cell line (KB-VIN) but without activity against the parent cells (KB). Additional 2-analogues were synthesized and evaluated to determine the effect of B-ring modifications on MDR-selectivity. Analogues with a B-ring Me (3) or Et (4) group had substantially increased MDR–selectivity. Three new disubstituted analogues, 35, 37 and 49, also had high collateral sensitivity (CS) indices of 273, 250 and 100, respectively. Furthermore, 2–4 also displayed MDR-selectivity in an MDR hepatoma-cell system. While 2–4 showed either no or very weak inhibition of cellular P-glycoprotein (P-gp) activity, they either activated or inhibited the actions of the first generation P-gp inhibitors verapamil or cyclosporin, respectively.
4-Amino-2H-benzo[h]chromen-2-one (ABO) analogs were designed, synthesized, and evaluated for cytotoxic activity. Among all 4-substituted ABO analogs, cyclohexyl (12), N-methoxy-N-methylacetamide (14), and various aromatic derivatives (15-25 and 27) exhibited promising cell growth inhibitory activity with ED50 values of 0.01-2.1 μM against all tested tumor cell lines. The 4′-methoxyphenyl derivative (18) and 3′-methylphenyl derivative (24) showed the most potent antitumor activity against a broad range of cancer cell lines with ED50 values of 0.01-0.17 μM. Preliminary SAR results indicated that substitutions on nitrogen are critical to the antitumor potency.
4-Amino-2H-benzo[h]chromen-2-one analogs (ABO); cytotoxic activity; structure-activity relationships
As a part of our continuing study of colchicinoids as therapeutically useful antitumor drugs, thiocolchicine derivatives, including their phosphate and other water soluble salts, were synthesized and evaluated for inhibition of tubulin polymerization and for in vitro cytotoxicity. Three compounds, 7, 10, and 11, showed potent inhibition of tubulin assembly (IC50 = 0.88 – 1.1 μM). In addition, compound 7, a water soluble succinic acid salt of N-deacetylthiocolchicine (4), showed potent cytotoxicity against a panel of tumor cell lines, suggesting it might be a potential lead to be developed as a therapeutic antitumor agent. Compound 8, a water soluble succinic acid salt of N,N-dimethyl-N-deacetylthiocolchicine (5), showed selective activities against HCT-8 and SK-BR-3 cells. N,N-Diethyl-N-deacetylthiocolchicine (6) seemed not to be a substrate for the P-gp efflux pump, based on the similar ED50 values obtained against P-gp over-expressing KBvin (0.0146 μg/mL) cells and the parent KB (0.0200 μg/mL) cell line.
N-Alkylthiocolchinoids; Antitumor agents; Tubulin polymerization
Six new polyisoprenyl benzophenonoids, (±)-garcinialiptone A (1, 2), garcinialiptone B (3), (−)-cycloxanthochymol (4), garcinialiptone C (5), and garcinialiptone D (6), along with three known compounds, xanthochymol (7), isoxanthochymol (8), and cycloxanthochymol (9), were isolated from the fruits of Garcinia subelliptica. The structures of 1–6 were elucidated by spectroscopic analysis. Biological evaluation showed that all compounds 1–9 exhibited cytotoxic activity against a small panel of human tumor cell lines (A549, DU145, KB, vincristine-resistant KB).
A new versatile synthetic methodology for the synthesis of enantiomerically pure natural phenanthroindolizidines and phenanthroquinolizidines has been established and described. Natural products R-antofine and R-cryptopleurine, as well as a novel E-ring expanded analog 13c (E7), 12-oxo-S-antofine (17), and 12N-methyl-12-aza-S-antofine (18) were synthesized with the new method. This strategy will greatly facilitate future SAR studies on the natural alkaloids with E-ring variations.
Neo-tanshinlactone (1) and its previously reported analogs, such as 2, are potent and selective in vitro anti-breast cancer agents. The synthetic pathway to 2 was optimized from seven to five steps, with a better overall yield. Structure–activity relationships studies on these compounds revealed some key molecular determinants for this family of anti-breast agents. Several derivatives (19-21 and 24) exerted potent and selective anti-breast cancer activity with IC50 values of 0.3, 0.2, 0.1 and 0.1 μg/mL, respectively, against the ZR-75-1 cell lines. Compound 24 was two- to three-fold more potent than 1 against SK-BR-3 and ZR-75-1. Importantly, 21 exhibited high selectivity; it was 23 times more active against ZR-75-1 than MCF-7. Compound 20 had an approximately 12-fold ratio of SK-BR-3/MCF-7 selectivity. In addition, analog 2 showed potent activity against a ZR-75-1 xenograft model, but not PC-3 and MDA-MB-231 xenografts, as well as high selectivity against breast cancer cell line compared with normal breast tissue-derived cell lines. Further development of lead compounds 19-21 and 24 as clinical trial candidates is warranted.
Four new bisabolane sesquiterpenes, altaicalarins A–D (1–4) and three known analogues (5–7) were isolated from the roots and rhizomes of Ligularia altaica. The structures were elucidated by spectroscopic methods including 2D NMR techniques, and the structure of 1 was confirmed by single-crystal X-ray diffraction. The isolated compounds were also evaluated for cytotoxic activity against human lung carcinoma (A-549), human breast adenocarcinoma (MCF-7), epidermoid carcinoma of the nasopharynx (KB), and vincristine-resistant nasopharyngeal (KBVIN) cell lines, and 1 was found to show significant cytotoxicity with EC50 values of 3.4, 0.8, 1.0, and 0.9 µg/mL, respectively.
The first total synthesis of the naturally occurring tetracyclic homoisoflavonoid brazilein (1) and 14 new analogs (1a–n) is reported. Target compounds and intermediates were assayed for anti-inflammatory effects on superoxide anion generation and elastase release by human neutrophils in response to fMLP/CB, and for cytotoxic activity against nasopharyngeal (KB), vincristine-resistant nasopharyngeal (KBvin), lung (A549) and prostate (DU-145) human cancer cell lines. The most active compound 1b showed potent effects on superoxide anion generation and elastase release with IC50 values of 1.2 and 1.9 µM, respectively, and was 65 times more potent than phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride (PMSF), the positive control, in the latter assay. Additionally, 1b exhibited broad spectrum in vitro anticancer activity with IC50 values of 6–11 µM against the four tested cancer cell lines.
homoisoflavonoid; brazilein; anti-inflammatory; cytotoxic
6-Phenyl-4H-furo[3,2-c]pyran-4-one derivatives based on neo-tashinlactone (1) were synthesized and evaluated as novel anti-breast cancer agents. Compounds 10-13, 23, 25, and 27 showed potent inhibition against the SK-BR-3 breast cancer cell line. Importantly, 25 and 27 showed the highest cancer cell line selectivity, being approximately 100- to 250-fold more potent against SK-BR-3 (ED50 0.28 and 0.44 μM, respectively) compared with other cancer cell lines tested. In addition, 25 displayed low cytotoxicity against normal breast cell lines 184A1 and MCF10A. Compounds 25 and 27 merit further investigation in our continuing program to generate and develop selective anti-breast cancer agents.
Tetrahydroneotanshinlactone (TNT) and tetrahydronaphthalene-1-ol (TNO) derivatives were designed, synthesized, and evaluated for cytotoxic activity. The TNO derivatives were found to be a promising novel class of in vitro antitumor agents. The cyclohexene ring-A could dramatically affect the antitumor activity and selectivity. Compound 20 showed the highest potency with ED50 values of 0.7 and 1.7 µM against SK-BR-3 and ZR-75-1 breast cancer cell lines, respectively.
Tetrahydronaphthalene-1-ol (TNO) analogs; Tetrahydroneotanshinlactone (TNT) analogs; Cytotoxicity; Breast cancer
Nineteen new phenanthrene-based tylophorine analogs with various functional groups on the piperidine moiety were designed, synthesized and evaluated for in vitro anticancer activity against four human tumor cell lines. Analogs 15 and 21 showed approximately two-fold enhanced inhibitory activity as compared with our prior lead compound (PBT-1). Analogs 23 and 24 with S- and R-configured substituents, respectively, at the piperidine 3’-position exhibited comparable cytotoxicity to that of PBT-1. Furthermore, mechanistic studies to investigate the effects of the new compounds on Akt protein in lung cancer cells and the NF-kB signaling pathway suggested that the compounds may exert their inhibitory activity on tumor cells through inhibition of activation of both Akt and NF-kB signaling pathway.
In a continuing study, we explored how the individual rings in neo-tanshinlactone (1) influence its potent and selective in vitro anti-breast cancer activity. Accordingly, we discovered a novel class of anti-breast cancer agents, 2-(furan-2-yl) naphthalen-1-ol derivatives, based on an active C-ring opened model compound 5. Further optimization led to 18 and 21, which showed decreased cytotoxic potency, but better selectivity than neo-tanshinlactone analog 2. Interestingly, compound 20 showed broad cytotoxicity against human cancer cell lines.