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1.  Direct Inhibition of Hypoxia-Inducible Transcription Factor Complex with Designed Dimeric Epidithiodiketopiperazine 
Journal of the American Chemical Society  2009;131(50):18078-18088.
Selective blockade of hypoxia-inducible gene expression by designed small molecules would prove valuable in suppressing tumor angiogenesis, metastasis and altered energy metabolism. We report the design, synthesis, and biological evaluation of dimeric epidithiodiketopiperazine (ETP) small molecule transcriptional antagonist targeting the interaction of the p300/CBP coactivator with the transcription factor HIF-1α. Our results indicate that disrupting this interaction results in rapid downregulation of hypoxia-inducible genes critical for cancer progression. The observed effects are compound-specific and dose-dependent. Controlling gene expression with designed small molecules targeting the transcription factor-coactivator interface may represent a new approach for arresting tumor growth.
doi:10.1021/ja807601b
PMCID: PMC2796602  PMID: 20000859
2.  Enantioselective organocatalytic α-sulfenylation of substituted diketopiperazines 
Tetrahedron, asymmetry  2009;20(23):2742-2750.
The asymmetric organocatalytic α-sulfenylation of substituted piperazine-2,5-diones is reported, with cinchona alkaloids as chiral Lewis bases and electrophilic sulfur transfer reagents. Catalyst loadings, the type of sulfur transfer reagent, temperature and solvent were investigated in order to optimize the reaction conditions. The effects of ring substitution and the type of catalyst on the yield and enantioselectivity of the reaction are reported.
doi:10.1016/j.tetasy.2009.10.037
PMCID: PMC2811878  PMID: 20161615
3.  Polymorphism and phase transition behavior of 6,6′-bis­(chloro­meth­yl)-1,1′,4,4′-tetra­methyl-3,3′-(p-phenyl­enedimethyl­ene)bis­(piperazine-2,5-dione) 
A crystallographic investigation of the title compound, C22H28Cl2N4O4, using crystals obtained under different crystallization conditions, revealed the presence of two distinct polymorphic forms. The mol­ecular conformation in the two polymorphs is very different: one adopts a ‘C’ shape, whereas the other adopts an ‘S’ shape. In the latter, the molecule lies across a crystallographic twofold axis. The ‘S’-shaped polymorph undergoes a reversible ortho­rhom­bic-to-monoclinic phase transition on cooling, whereas the structure of the ‘C’-shaped polymorph is temperature insensitive.
doi:10.1107/S0108270109024457
PMCID: PMC2720150  PMID: 19652319
4.  Efficient Organocatalytic α-Sulfenylation of Substituted Piperazine-2,5-diones 
Tetrahedron letters  2009;50(30):4310-4313.
Organocatalytic α-sulfenylation of substituted piperazine-2,5-diones is reported through the use of cinchona alkaloids as Lewis bases and electrophilic sulfur transfer reagents. 1-Phenylsulfanyl[1,2,4]triazole, a novel sulfur transfer reagent, gave excellent product yields with a number of substituted piperazine-2,5-diones under mild conditions. Catalyst loading, stoichiometry of sulfur electrophile, temperature and solvent were optimized to achieve high product yields.
doi:10.1016/j.tetlet.2009.05.031
PMCID: PMC2699310  PMID: 20161311
5.  Molecular Solids from Symmetrical Bis(piperazine-2,5-diones) with Open and Closed Monomer Conformations 
Crystal growth & design  2009;9(5):2191-2197.
The design, synthesis and solid state structures of a new class of xylylene-linked bis(1,4- piperazine-2,5-diones) are reported in an effort to extend the molecular framework of piperazine-2,5-diones. These compounds were derived from piperazine-2,5-dione as the core structure, synthesized via a new efficient route, and their crystal structures were determined. We examined the effects of side chain substitution on conformations of the linked bis-DKPs. Crystallization of 3,3'-[1,4-phenylenebis(methylene)]-bis[6-(hydroxymethyl)-1,4-dimethylpiperazine-2,5-dione] yielded molecular solids with an unusual network of “C”-shaped monomers held together by four intermolecular hydrogen bonds per asymmetric unit. Similarly, intermolecular interactions between the iodomethyl groups in 3,3'-[1,4-phenylenebis(methylene)]-bis[6-(iodomethyl)-1,4-dimethyl-piperazine-2,5-dione] result in the monomers adopting a “C”-shape in the solid state. Assembly of the monomers with side chains converted to methyl groups or tert-butyldimethylsilyl ethers, thereby lacking these stabilizing intermolecular interactions, results in an infinite array of “S”-shaped conformations. These results suggest that the interplay between the attractive intermolecular interactions and repulsive steric interactions of the substituents at the C6 and C6' positions of the diketopiperazine rings is important in determining the solid-state conformations of xylylene-linked bis(piperazine-2,5-diones).
doi:10.1021/cg800902u
PMCID: PMC2699313  PMID: 20161254
6.  Diethyl trans-2,5-bis­(4-methoxy­benzyl­sulfan­yl)-1,4-dimethyl-3,6-dioxopiperazine-2,5-carboxyl­ate 
The title compound, C28H34N2O8S2, was synthesized as part of a project to develop synthetic routes to analogues of sporidesmins, a class of secondary metabolite produced by the filamentous fungi Chaetomium and Pithomyces sp. The complete molecule is generated by crystallographic inversion symmetry: the methoxy group is essentially coplanar with the benzene ring to which it is bonded, a mean plane fitted through the non-H atoms of the aromatic ring and the meth­oxy group having an r.m.s. deviation of 0.0140 Å. Similarly, the ester group is also essentially planar (r.m.s. deviation of a plane fitted through all non-H atoms is 0.0101 Å). There is only one independent C—H⋯O inter­action, which links together adjacent mol­ecules into a two-dimensional sheet in the bc plane.
doi:10.1107/S1600536809022211
PMCID: PMC2969498  PMID: 21582859

Results 1-6 (6)