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1.  Optimization of 4-(N-Cycloamino)phenylquinazolines as a Novel Class of Tubulin-Polymerization Inhibitors Targeting the Colchicine Site 
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry  2014;57(4):1390-1402.
The 6-methoxy-1,2,3,4-tetrahydroquinoline moiety in prior leads 2-chloro- and 2-methyl-4-(6-methoxy-3,4-dihydroquinolin-1(2H)-yl)quinazoline (1a and 1b) was modified to produce 4-(N-cycloamino)quinazolines (4a–c and 5a–m). The new compounds were evaluated in cytotoxicity and tubulin inhibition assays, resulting in the discovery of new tubulin-polymerization inhibitors. 7-Methoxy-4-(2-methylquinazolin-4-yl)-3,4-dihydroquinoxalin- 2(1H)-one (5f), the most potent compound, exhibited high in vitro cytotoxic activity (GI50 1.9–3.2 nM), significant potency against tubulin assembly (IC50 0.77 μM), and substantial inhibition of colchicine binding (99% at 5 μM). In mechanism studies, 5f caused cell arrest in G2/M phase, disrupted microtubule formation, and competed mostly at the colchicine site on tubulin. Compound 5f and N-methylated analogue 5g were evaluated in nude mouse MCF7 xenograft models to validate their antitumor activity. Compound 5g displayed significant in vivo activity (tumor inhibitory rate 51%) at a dose of 4 mg/kg without obvious toxicity, whereas 5f unexpectedly resulted in toxicity and death at the same dose.
PMCID: PMC3983391  PMID: 24502232
2.  Discovery of Novel Antitumor Dibenzocyclooctatetraene Derivatives and Related Biphenyls as Potent Inhibitors of NF-κB Signaling Pathway 
Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry  2013;22(1):325-333.
Several dibenzocyclooctatetraene derivatives (5-7) and related biphenyls (8-11) were designed, synthesized, and evaluated for inhibition of cancer cell growth and the NF-κB signaling pathway. Compound 5a, a dibenzocyclooctatetraene succinimide, was discovered as a potent inhibitor of the NF-κB signaling pathway with significant antitumor activity against several human tumor cell lines (GI50 1.38–1.45 μM) and was more potent than paclitaxel against the drug-resistant KBvin cell line. Compound 5a also inhibited LPS-induced NF-κB activation in RAW264.7 cells with an IC50 value of 0.52 μM, prevented IκB-α degradation and p65 nuclear translocation, and suppressed LPS-induced NO production in a dose-dependent manner. The antitumor data in cellular assays indicated that relative positions and types of substituents on the dibenzocyclooctatetraene or acyclic biphenyl as well as torsional angles between the two phenyls are of primary importance to antitumor activity.
PMCID: PMC3899348  PMID: 24315191
dibenzocyclooctatetraene derivatives; unsymmetrical biphenyls; anticancer agents; NF-κB inhibitor
3.  Design, Synthesis and Cytotoxic Activity of Novel Sulfonylurea Derivatives of Podophyllotoxin 
Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry  2013;22(1):204-210.
Three series of novel sulfonylurea podophyllotoxin derivatives were designed, synthesized, and evaluated for in vitro cytotoxicity against four tumor cell lines (A-549, DU-145, KB and KBvin). Compounds 14c (IC50: 1.41–1.76 μM) and 14e (IC50: 1.72–2.01 μM) showed superior cytotoxic activity compared with etoposide (IC50: 2.03– >20μM), a clinically available anticancer drug. Significantly, most of the compounds exhibited comparable cytotoxicity against the drug-resistant tumor cell line KBvin, while etoposide lost activity completely. Preliminary structure-activity relationship (SAR) correlations indicated that the 4′-O-methyl functionality in podophyllotoxin analogues may be essential to maintain cytotoxic activity, while an arylsulfonylurea side chain at podophyllotoxin’s 4β position can significantly improve cytotoxic activity.
PMCID: PMC3902999  PMID: 24332656
podophyllotoxin; sulfonylurea; synthesis; cytotoxic activity
4.  N-Aryl-6-methoxy-1,2,3,4-tetrahydroquinolines: a Novel Class of Antitumor Agents Targeting the Colchicine Site on Tubulin 
Structural optimizations of the prior lead 1a led to the discovery of a series of N-aryl-6-methoxy-1,2,3,4-tetrahydroquinoline derivatives as a novel class of tubulin polymerization inhibitors targeted at the colchicine binding site. The most active compound 6d showed extremely high cytotoxicity against a human tumor cell line panel (A549, KB, KBvin, and DU145) with GI50 values ranging from 1.5 to 1.7 nM, significantly more potent than paclitaxel, especially against the drug-resistant KBvin cell line, in the same assays. Analogues 5f, 6b, 6c, and 6e were also quite potent, with a GI50 range of 0.011–0.19 μM. In further studies, active compounds 6b–6e and 5f significantly inhibited tubulin assembly, with IC50 values of 0.92 to 1.0 μM and strongly inhibited colchicine binding to tubulin, with inhibition rates of 75–99% (at 5 μM), comparable with or more potent than combretastatin A-4 (IC50 0.96 μM). Current studies included design, synthesis, and biological evaluations of 24 new compounds (series 3–6). Related SAR analysis, molecular modeling, and evaluation of essential drug-like properties, i.e. water solubility, log P, and in vitro metabolic stability, were also performed.
PMCID: PMC3770484  PMID: 23867604
N-aryl-6-methoxy-1,2,3,4-tetrahydroquinolines; cytotoxicity; tubulin polymerization inhibitors; colchicine binding site
5.  Dual-functional abeo-Taxane Derivatives Destabilizing Microtubule Equilibrium and Inhibiting NF-κB Activation 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2013;56(11):4749-4757.
Taxchinin A, with a 11(15→1)-abeo-taxane skeleton, is a major, but inactive taxoid contained in leaves of Taxus chinensis. In our design of dual-functional antitumor abeo-taxane derivatives, two fragments from antitumor agents with different molecular targets (the N-acyl-3′-phenylisoserine side chain from the antimitotic agent paclitaxel and an α,β-unsaturated carbonyl system from NF-κB inhibitors) were incorporated into the scaffold of taxchinin A. The resulting compounds displayed broad inhibitory effects against proliferation of tumor cell lines, with notable selectivity towards colon cancer, melanoma and renal cancer, when evaluated in the NCI-60 human tumor cell line screening panel. Based on the NCI-60 assay data, structure-activity relationship (SAR) correlations were elucidated. Mechanistic studies indicated that this new compound type can both destabilize microtubules and inhibit NF-κB activation, thereby inducing tumor cell apoptosis. This first report of the dual-functional taxoid-core compounds thus provides new opportunities for future drug development based on natural taxoid scaffolds.
PMCID: PMC3755589  PMID: 23725535
6.  Isolation, Structure Determination, and Anti-HIV Evaluation of Tigliane-type Diterpenes and Biflavonoid from Stellera chamaejasme 
Journal of natural products  2013;76(5):852-857.
Five novel tigliane-type diterpenes, stelleracins A–E (3–7), a novel flavanone dimer, chamaeflavone A (8), and six known compounds were isolated from roots of Stellera chamaejasme. Their structures were elucidated by extensive spectroscopic analyses. The isolated compounds were evaluated for anti-HIV activity in MT4 cells. New compounds 3–5 showed potent anti-HIV activity (EC90 0.00056–0.0068 μM) and relatively low or no cytotoxicity (IC50 4.4–17.2 μM). These new compounds represent promising new leads for development into anti-AIDS clinical trial candidates.
PMCID: PMC3715147  PMID: 23611151
7.  Songaricalarins A–E, Cytotoxic Oplopane Sesquiterpenes from Ligularia songarica# 
Journal of natural products  2012;76(3):305-310.
Five new highly oxygenated oplopane sesquiterpenes, songaricalarins A–E (1–5), and two known analogues (6 and 7) were isolated from the roots and rhizomes of Ligularia songarica. Their structures and configurations were elucidated by spectroscopic methods, including 2D-NMR techniques, and the structure of 1 was confirmed by single-crystal X-ray diffraction. All compounds were evaluated for in vitro cytotoxic activity against cultured A-549, MCF-7, KB, and KBVIN cells, and 4 exhibited cytotoxicity with EC50 values of 4.9, 0.8, 3.4, and 3.2 µg/mL, respectively.
PMCID: PMC3553309  PMID: 23043462
8.  Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of N-Alkyl-N-(4-methoxyphenyl)pyridin-2-amines as a New Class of Tubulin Polymerization Inhibitors 
Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry  2012;21(3):632-642.
Based on our prior antitumor hits, 32 novel N-alkyl-N-substituted phenylpyridin-2-amine derivatives were designed, synthesized and evaluated for cytotoxic activity against A549, KB, KBVIN, and DU145 human tumor cell lines (HTCL). Subsequently, three new leads (6a, 7g, and 8c) with submicromolar GI50 values of 0.19 to 0.41 μM in the cellular assays were discovered, and these compounds also significantly inhibited tubulin assembly (IC50 1.4–1.7 μM) and competitively inhibited colchicine binding to tubulin with effects similar to those of the clinical candidate CA-4 in the same assays. These promising results indicate that these tertiary diarylamine derivatives represent a novel class of tubulin polymerization inhibitors targeting the colchicine binding site and showing significant anti-proliferative activity.
PMCID: PMC3546147  PMID: 23274123
N-alkyl-N-phenylpyridin-2-amines; cytotoxicity; tubulin polymerization inhibitors; colchicine binding site
9.  Anticancer Principles from Medicinal Piper (胡椒 Hú Jiāo) Plants 
The ethnomedical uses of Piper (胡椒 Hú Jiāo) plants as anticancer agents, in vitro cytotoxic activity of both extracts and compounds from Piper plants, and in vivo antitumor activity and mechanism of action of selected compounds are reviewed in the present paper. The genus Piper (Piperaceae) contains approximately 2000 species, of which 10 species have been used in traditional medicines to treat cancer or cancer-like symptoms. Studies have shown that 35 extracts from 24 Piper species and 32 compounds from Piper plants possess cytotoxic activity. Amide alkaloids account for 53% of the major active principles. Among them, piplartine (piperlongumine) shows the most promise, being toxic to dozens of cancer cell lines and having excellent in vivo activity. It is worthwhile to conduct further anticancer studies both in vitro and in vivo on Piper plants and their active principles.
PMCID: PMC4032846  PMID: 24872928
Amide alkaloids; Anticancer; Cytotoxicity; Piper; Piperaceae
10.  Plant-derived triterpenoids and analogues as antitumor and anti-HIV agents† 
Natural product reports  2009;26(10):1321-1344.
This article reviews the antitumor and anti-HIV activities of naturally occurring triterpenoids, including the lupane, ursane, oleanane, lanostane, dammarane, and miscellaneous scaffolds. Structure–activity relationships of selected natural compounds and their synthetic derivatives are also discussed.
PMCID: PMC3773821  PMID: 19779642
11.  HIV Entry Inhibitors and Their Potential in HIV Therapy 
Medicinal research reviews  2009;29(2):369-393.
This review discusses recent progress in the development of anti-HIV agents targeting the viral entry process. The three main classes (attachment inhibitors, co-receptor binding inhibitors, and fusion inhibitors) are further broken down by specific mechanism of action and structure. Many of these inhibitors are in advanced clinical trials, including the HIV maturation inhibitor bevirimat, from the authors’ laboratories. In addition, the CCR5 inhibitor maraviroc has recently been FDA-approved. Possible roles for these agents in anti-HIV therapy, including treatment of virus resistant to current drugs, are also discussed.
PMCID: PMC3773846  PMID: 18720513
HIV entry inhibitors; attachment inhibitors; co-receptor binding inhibitors; fusion inhibitors; maraviroc (MVC; UK-427, 857); enfuvirtide (T20;fuzeon); bevirimat (DSB;PA-457)
12.  Antitumor agents 294. Novel E-ring-modified camptothecin–4β-anilino-4′-O-demethylepipodophyllotoxin conjugates as DNA topoisomerase I inhibitors and cytotoxic agents 
Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry  2012;20(14):4489-4494.
Two conjugates (1 and 2) of camptothecin (CPT) and 4β-anilino-4′-O-demethylepipodophyllotoxin were previously shown to exert antitumor activity through inhibition of topoisomerase I (topo I). In this current study, two novel conjugates (1E and 2E) with an open E-ring in the CPT moiety were first synthesized and evaluated for biological activity in comparison with their intact E-ring congeners. This novel class of CPT derivatives exhibits its antitumor effect against CPT-sensitive and -resistant cells, in part, by inhibiting topo I-linked DNA (TLD) religation. An intact E-ring was not essential for the inhibition of TLD religation, although conjugates with an open E-ring were less potent than the closed ring analogs. This lower religation potency resulted in decreased formation of protein-linked DNA breaks (PLDBs), and hence, less cell growth inhibition. In addition to their impact on topo I, conjugates 1E, 2, and 2E exhibited a minor inhibitory effect on topo II-induced DNA cleavage. The novel structures of 1E and 2E may present scaffolds for further development of dual function topo I and II inhibitors with improved pharmacological profiles and physicochemical properties.
PMCID: PMC3389137  PMID: 22698783
Topoisomerase; cytotoxicity; camptothecin (CPT); etoposide (VP-16); epipodophyllotoxin; conjugates
13.  Antitumor agents 290. † Design, synthesis, and biological evaluation of new LNCaP and PC-3 cytotoxic curcumin analogs conjugated with anti-androgens 
Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry  2012;20(13):4020-4031.
In our continuing study of curcumin analogs as potential anti-prostate cancer drug candidates, 15 new curcumin analogs were designed, synthesized and evaluated for cytotoxicity against two human prostate cancer cell lines, androgen-dependent LNCaP and androgen-independent PC-3. Twelve analogs (5-12, 15, 16, 19, and 20) are conjugates of curcumin (1) or methyl curcumin (2) with a flutamide- or bicalutamide-like moiety. Two compounds (22 and 23) are C4-mono- and difluoro-substituted analogs of dimethyl curcumin (DMC, 21). Among the newly synthesized conjugates compound 15, a conjugate of 2 with a partial bicalutamide moiety, was more potent than bicalutamide alone and essentially equipotent with 1 and 2 against both prostate tumor cell lines with IC50 values of 41.8 μM (for LNCaP) and 39.1 μM (for PC-3). A cell morphology study revealed that the cytotoxicity of curcumin analogs or curcumin-antiandrogen conjugates detected from both prostate cancer cell lines might be due to the suppression of pseudopodia formation. A molecular intrinsic fluorescence experiment showed that 1 accumulated mainly in the nuclei, while conjugate 6 was distributed in the cytosol. At the tested conditions, antiandrogens suppressed pseudopodia formation in PC-3 cells, but not in LNCaP cells. The evidence suggests that distinguishable target proteins are involved, resulting in the different outcomes toward pseudopodia suppression.
PMCID: PMC3376200  PMID: 22672984
Synthesis; Curcumin analogs; Conjugates; Cytotoxicity; Anti-prostate cancer; Morphology
14.  Design and synthesis of gambogic acid analogs as potent cytotoxic and anti-inflammatory agents 
Prenyl- and pyrano-xanthones derived from 1,3,6-trihydroxy-9H-xanthen-9-one, a basic backbone of gambogic acid (GA), were synthesized and evaluated for in vitro cytotoxic effects against four human cancer cell lines (KB, KBvin, A549, and DU-145) and anti-inflammatory activity toward superoxide anion generation and elastase release by human neutrophils in response to fMLP/CB. Among them, prenylxanthones 7-13 were generally less active than pyranoxanthones 14-21 in both anticancer and anti-inflammatory assays. Furthermore, two angular 3,3-dimethypyranoxanthones (16 and 20) showed the greatest and selective activity against the KBvin multidrug resistant (MDR) cell line with IC50 values of 0.9 and 0.8 μ g/mL, respectively. An angular 3-methyl-3-prenylpyranoxanthone (17) selectively inhibited elastase release with 200 times more potency than phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride (PMSF), the positive control.
PMCID: PMC3374489  PMID: 22595179
1,3,6-Trihydroxy-9H-xanthen-9-one; Gambogic acid (GA); Prenylxanthones; Pyranoxanthones; Cytotoxicity; Anti-inflammatory activity
15.  Anti-AIDS agents 88. Anti-HIV conjugates of betulin and betulinic acid with AZT prepared via click chemistry 
Tetrahedron letters  2012;53(15):1987-1989.
In the present study, a new strategy to link AZT with betulin/betulinic acid (BA) by click chemistry was designed and achieved. This conjugation via a triazole linkage offers a new direction for modification of anti-HIV triterpenes. Click chemistry provides an easy and productive way for linking two molecules, even when one of them is a large natural product. Among the newly synthesized conjugates, compounds 15 and 16 showed potent anti-HIV activity with EC50 values of 0.067 and 0.10 µM, respectively, which are comparable to that of AZT (EC50: 0.10 µM) in the same assay.
PMCID: PMC3375835  PMID: 22711941
Betulin; Betulinic acid; AZT; Anti-HIV; Click chemistry
16.  Antitumor Agents 289. Design, Synthesis, and Anti-breast Cancer Activity in Vivo of 4-Amino-2H-benzo[h]chromen-2-one (ABO) and 4-Amino-7,8,9,10-tetrahydro-2H-benzo[h]chromen-2-one (ATBO) Analogues with Improved Water Solubility# 
Journal of Natural Products  2012;75(3):370-377.
Previously, we reported that 4-amino-2H-benzo[h]chromen-2-one (ABO) and 4-amino-7,8,9,10-tetrahydro-2H-benzo[h]chromen-2-one (ATBO) analogues, which were developed from the lead natural produce neo-tanshinlactone, are potent cytotoxic agents. In order to improve on their water solubility, the diamino analogues and related salts were designed. All synthesized compounds were assayed for cytotoxicity, and selected compounds were evaluated for in vivo anti-mammary epithelial proliferation activity in wild-type mice and mice predisposed for mammary tumors due to Brca1/p53 mutations. The new derivatives 10, 16 (ABO), 22, and 27 (ATBO) were the most active analogues with IC50 values of 0.038–0.085 μM in the cytotoxicity assay. Analogue 10 showed around 50-fold improved water solubility compared with the prior lead ABO compound 4-[(4'-methoxyphenyl)amino]-2H-benzo[h]chromen-2-one (3). Compounds 3, 4, 10, and 22 significantly reduced overall numbers of mammary cells as indicated by the reduction of mammary gland branching in mutant mice. A one-week treatment with 10 resulted in 80% reduction in BrdU-positive cells in the cancer prone mammary gland. These four compounds had differential effects on cellular proliferation and apoptosis in wild-type mouse and mouse model of human breast cancers. Compound 10 merits further development as a promising anticancer clinical trial candidate.
PMCID: PMC3311758  PMID: 22304236
17.  Antitumor Agents 291 Expanded B-Ring Modification Study of 6,8,8-Triethyl Desmosdumotin B Analogues as Multidrug-Resistance Selective Agents 
Medicinal chemistry  2011;1(101):1000101.
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.
PMCID: PMC3537172  PMID: 23293751
Triethyldesmosdumotin B; Multi-drug resistance; MDR-selectivity (collateral sensitivity); Heteroaromatic ring; Cycloalkyl ring
18.  Cytotoxic esterified diterpenoid alkaloid derivatives with increased selectivity against a drug-resistant cancer cell line 
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.
PMCID: PMC3248953  PMID: 22142543
Delpheline; C19-diterpenoid alkaloid; Cytotoxicity
19.  Anti-AIDS agents 85. Design, synthesis, and evaluation of 1R,2R-dicamphanoyl-3,3-dimethyldihydropyrano-[2,3-c]xanthen-7(1H)-one (DCX) derivatives as novel anti-HIV agents 
In this study, 1R,2R-dicamphanoyl-3,3-dimethydihydropyrano[2,3-c]xanthen-7(1H)-one (DCX) derivatives were designed and synthesized as novel anti-HIV agents against both wild-type and nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase (RT) inhibitor-resistant HIV-1 (RTMDR-1) strains. Twenty-four DCX analogs (6-29) were synthesized and evaluated against the non-drug-resistant HIV-1 NL4-3 strain, and selected analogs were also screened for their ability to inhibit the RTMDR-1 strain. Compared with the control 2-ethyl-3′,4′-di-O-(-)-camphanoyl-2′,2′-dimethyldihydropyrano[2,3-f]chromone (2-EDCP, 2), one of the best anti-HIV coumarin derivatives in our prior study, three DCX compounds (7, 12, and 22) showed better activity against both HIV strains with an EC50 range of 0.062 – 0.081 μM, and five additional compounds (8, 11, 16, 18, and 21) exhibited comparable anti-HIV potency. Six DCX analogs (7, 11-12, 18, and 21-22) also showed enhanced selectivity index (SI) values in comparison to the control. Structure-activity relationship (SAR) information suggested that the extended conjugated system of the pyranoxanthone skeleton facilitates the interaction of the small DCX molecule within the viral binding pocket, consequently leading to enhanced anti-HIV activity and selectivity. Compared to DCP compounds, DCX analogs are a more promising new class of anti-HIV agents.
PMCID: PMC3259201  PMID: 22063755
1R,2R-dicamphanoyl-3,3-dimethydihydropyrano[2,3-c]xanthen-7(1H)-one (DCX); Anti-HIV activity; Structure-activity relationship (SAR)
20.  Anti-AIDS agents 87. New bio-isosteric dicamphanoyl-dihydropyranochromone (DCP) and dicamphanoyl-khellactone (DCK) analogues with potent anti-HIV activity 
Six 3′R,4′R-di-O-(S)-camphanoyl-2′,2′-dimethyldihydropyrano[2,3-f]chromone (DCP) and two 3′R,4′R-di-O-(S)-camphanoyl-(+)-cis-khellactone (DCK) derivatives were designed, synthesized, and evaluated for inhibition of HIV-1NL4-3 replication in TZM-bl cells. 2-Ethyl-2′-monomethyl-1′-oxa- and -1′-thia-DCP (5a, 6a), as well as 2-ethyl-1′-thia-DCP (7a) exhibited potent anti-HIV activity with EC50 values of 30, 38 and 54 nM and therapeutic indexes of 152.6, 48.0 and 100.0, respectively, which were better than or comparable to those of the lead compound 2-ethyl-DCP in the same assay. 4-Methyl-1′-thia-DCK (8a) also showed significant inhibitory activity with an EC50 of 128 nM and TI of 237.9.
PMCID: PMC3171603  PMID: 21871800
2′-Monomethyl-1′-oxa-DCP; 2′-Monomethyl-1′-thia-DCP; 2-Ethyl-1′-thia-DCP; 4-Methyl-1′-thia-DCK; Anti-HIV activity
21.  Anti-AIDS agents 86. Synthesis and anti-HIV evaluation of 2′,3′-seco-3′-nor DCP and DCK analogues 
In a continuing study of novel anti-HIV agents with drug-like structures and properties, 30 1′-O-, 1′-S-, 4′-O- and 4′-substituted-2′,3′-seco-3′-nor DCP and DCK analogues (8–37) were designed and synthesized. All newly synthesized seco-compounds were screened against HIV-1NL4-3 and a multiple reverse transcriptase (RT) inhibitor-resistant (RTMDR) strain in the TZM-bl cell line, using seco-DCK (7) and 2-ethyl-DCP (4) as controls. Several compounds (14, 18, 19, 22–24, and 32) exhibited potent anti-HIV activity with EC50 values ranging from 0.93 to 1.93 μM and therapeutic index (TI) values ranging from 20 to 39. 1′-O-Isopropoxy-2′,3′-seco-3′-nor-DCP (12) showed the greatest potency among the newly synthesized compounds with EC50 values of 0.47 and 0.88 μM, and TI of 96 and 51, respectively, against HIV-1NL4-3 and RTMDR strains. The seco-compounds exhibited better chemical stability in acidic conditions compared with DCP and DCK compounds. Overall, the results suggested that seco-DCP analogues with simplified structures may be more favorable for development as novel anti-HIV candidates.
PMCID: PMC3183312  PMID: 21864952
2′, 3′-Seco-3′-nor-DCPs; Anti-HIV activity; Structure–activity relationship (SAR)
22.  Stelleralides A-C, Novel Potent Anti-HIV Daphnane-Type Diterpenoids from Stellera chamaejasme L 
Organic letters  2011;13(11):2904-2907.
Three novel 1-alkyldaphnane-type diterpenes, stelleralides A–C (4–6), and five known compounds were isolated from the roots of Stellera chamaejasme L. The structures of 4–6 were elucidated by extensive spectroscopic analyses. Several isolated compounds showed potent anti-HIV activity. Compound 4 showed extremely potent anti-HIV activity (EC90 0.40 nM) with the lowest cytotoxicity (IC50 4.3 μM), and appears to be a promising compound for development into anti-AIDS clinical trial candidates.
PMCID: PMC3109985  PMID: 21561135
23.  Design, Synthesis, and Evaluation of Diarylpyridines and Diarylanilines as Potent Non-nucleoside HIV-1 Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2010;53(23):8287-8297.
Based on the structures and activities of our previously identified non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs), we designed and synthesized two sets of derivatives, diarylpyridines (A) and diarylanilines (B), and tested their anti-HIV-1 activity against infection by HIV-1 NL4-3 and IIIB in TZM-bl and MT-2 cells, respectively. The results showed that most compounds exhibited potent anti-HIV-1 activity with low nanomolar EC50 values, and some of them, such as 13m, 14c, and 14e, displayed high potency with subnanomolar EC50 values, which were more potent than etravirine (TMC125, 1) in the same assays. Notably, these compounds were also highly effective against infection by multi-RTI-resistant strains, suggesting a high potential to further develop these compounds as a novel class of NNRTIs with improved antiviral efficacy and resistance profile.
PMCID: PMC3050082  PMID: 21049929
24.  Antitumor agents 287. Substituted 4-amino-2H-pyran-2-one (APO) analogs reveal a new scaffold from neo-tanshinlactone with in vitro anticancer activity 
4-Amino-2H-benzo[h]chromen-2-one (ABO) and 4-amino-7,8,9,10-tetrahydro-2H-benzo[h]chromen-2-one (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 μM.
PMCID: PMC3072684  PMID: 21420855
4-Amino-2H-pyran-2-one (APO) analogs; Neo-tanshinlactone; Cytotoxicity
25.  Recent progress of research on medicinal mushrooms, foods, and other herbal products used in traditional Chinese medicine 
This article will review selected herbal products used in traditional Chinese medicine, including medicinal mushrooms (巴西蘑菇 bā xī mó gū; Agaricus blazei, 雲芝 yún zhī; Coriolus versicolor, 靈芝 líng zhī; Ganoderma lucidum, 香蕈 xiāng xùn; shiitake, Lentinus edodes, 牛樟芝 niú zhāng zhī; Taiwanofungus camphoratus), Cordyceps (冬蟲夏草 dōng chóng xià cǎo), pomegranate (石榴 shí liú; Granati Fructus), green tea (綠茶 lǜ chá; Theae Folium Non Fermentatum), garlic (大蒜 dà suàn; Allii Sativi Bulbus), turmeric (薑黃 jiāng huáng; Curcumae Longae Rhizoma), and Artemisiae Annuae Herba (青蒿 qīng hāo; sweet wormwood). Many of the discussed herbal products have gained popularity in their uses as dietary supplements for health benefits. The review will focus on the active constituents of the herbs and their bioactivities, with emphasis on the most recent progress in research for the period of 2003 to 2011.
PMCID: PMC3942920  PMID: 24716120
Herbal Products; Medicinal Mushrooms; Dietary Supplements; Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

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