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1.  Antitumor Agents 295. E-ring Hydroxylated Antofine and Cryptopleurine Analogs as Antiproliferative Agents: Design, Synthesis, and Mechanistic Studies 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2012;55(15):6751-6761.
Various E-ring hydroxylated antofine and cryptopleurine analogs were designed, synthesized, and tested against five human cancer cell lines. Interesting structure-activity relationship (SAR) correlations were found among these new compounds. The most potent compound 13b was further tested against a series of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines, in which it showed impressive antiproliferative activity. Mechanistic studies revealed that 13b is able to down-regulate HSP90 and β-catenin in A549 lung adenocarcinoma cells in a dose-dependent manner, suggesting a potential use for treating Hedgehog pathway-driven tumorigenesis.
doi:10.1021/jm3001218
PMCID: PMC3422873  PMID: 22823514
2.  Antitumor Agents 293. Non-toxic Dimethyl-4,4′-dimethoxy-5,6,5′,6′-dimethylenedioxybiphenyl-2,2′-dicarboxylate (DDB) Analogs Chemosensitize Multidrug Resistant Cancer Cells to Clinical Anticancer Drugs 
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry  2012;55(11):5413-5424.
Novel dimethyl-4,4′-dimethoxy-5,6,5′,6′-dimethylenedioxybiphenyl-2,2′-dicarboxylate (DDB) analogs were designed and synthesized to improve their chemosensitizing action on KBvin (vincristine resistant nasopharyngeal carcinoma) cells, a multi-drug resistant cell line over-expressing P-glycoprotein (P-gp). Structure-activity relationship analysis showed that aromatic and bulky aliphatic side chains at the 2,2′-positions effectively and significantly sensitized P-gp overexpressing multidrug resistant (MDR) cells to anticancer drugs, such as paclitaxel (TAX), vincristine (VCR), and doxorubicin (DOX). DDB derivatives 16 and 23 showed 5–10 times more effective reversal ability than verapamil (VRP) for TAX and VCR. Analog 6 also exhibited five times greater chemosensitizing effect against DOX than VRP. Importantly, no cytotoxicity was observed by the active DDB analogs against both non-MDR and MDR cells, suggesting that DDB analogs serve as the novel lead compounds for the development of chemosensitizers to overcome MDR phenotype. The mechanism of action studies demonstrated that effective inhibition of P-glycoprotein by DDB analogs dramatically elevated cellular concentration of anticancer drugs.
doi:10.1021/jm300378k
PMCID: PMC3375343  PMID: 22612652
3.  Antitumor Agents 284. New Desmosdumotin B Analogues with Bicyclic B-ring as Cytotoxic and Antitubulin Agents 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2011;54(5):1244-1255.
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.
doi:10.1021/jm1011947
PMCID: PMC3048907  PMID: 21284385
4.  Antitumor Agents 286. Design, Synthesis and Structure-Activity Relationships of 3′R,4′R-Disubstituted-2′,2′-dimethyldihydropyrano[2,3-f]chromone (DSP) Analogs as Potent Chemosensitizers to Overcome Multidrug Resistance 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2010;53(24):8700-8708.
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
doi:10.1021/jm101249z
PMCID: PMC3074582  PMID: 21082774
5.  Antitumor Agents 280. Multidrug Resistance-Selective Desmosdumotin B Analogues 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2010;53(18):6699-6705.
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.
doi:10.1021/jm100846r
PMCID: PMC2945214  PMID: 20735140
6.  Antitumor Agents. 272. Structure–Activity Relationships and In Vivo Selective Anti-Breast Cancer Activity of Novel Neo-tanshinlactone Analogs 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2010;53(5):2299-2308.
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.
doi:10.1021/jm1000858
PMCID: PMC2849726  PMID: 20148565
7.  Antitumor Agents 268. Design, Synthesis, and Mechanistic Studies of New 9-Substituted Phenanthrene-based Tylophorine Analogs as Potent Cytotoxic Agents 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2009;52(16):5262-5268.
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.
doi:10.1021/jm9009263
PMCID: PMC2888945  PMID: 19645447
8.  Antitumor Agents 266*. Design, Synthesis, and Biological Evaluation of Novel 2-(Furan-2-yl) naphthalen-1-ol Derivatives as Potent and Selective Anti-Breast Cancer Agents 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2009;52(11):3586-3590.
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.
doi:10.1021/jm9001567
PMCID: PMC2754228  PMID: 19425534
9.  Antitumor Agents 250.† Design and Synthesis of New Curcumin Analogs as Potential Anti-Prostate Cancer Agents 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2006;49(13):3963-3972.
In a continuing study of curcumin analogs as potential drug candidates to treat prostate cancer at both androgen-dependent and androgen-refractory stages, we designed and synthesized over 40 new analogs classified into four series: monophenyl analogs (series A), heterocycle-containing analogs (series B), analogs bearing various substituents on the phenyl rings (series C) and analogs with various linkers (series D). These new compounds were tested for cytotoxicity against two human prostate cancer cell lines, androgen-dependent LNCaP and androgen-independent PC-3. Antiandrogenic activity was also evaluated in LNCaP cells and PC-3 cells transfected with wild-type androgen receptor. Ten compounds possessed potent cytotoxicity against both LNCaP and PC-3 cells; seven only against LNCaP; and one solely against PC-3. This study established an advanced structure-activity relationship (SAR), and these correlations will guide the further design of new curcumin analogs with better anti-prostate cancer activity.
doi:10.1021/jm051043z
PMCID: PMC2597393  PMID: 16789753
10.  Antitumor Agents 259. Design, Syntheses and Structure-Activity-Relationship Study of Desmosdumotin C Analogs 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2007;50(14):3354-3358.
Desmosdumotin C (1) and its analogs previously showed potent, selective in vitro anticancer activity. To explore structure-activity-relationships of 1 and further increase potency and selectivity, fifteen novel analogs (7–15 and 21–26) were synthesized, and evaluated for cytotoxity against several human tumor cell lines, as well as inhibition of human endothelial (HUVEC) replication. 4-Bromo-3′,3′,5′-tripropyl analog 26 showed significant cytotoxity against A549, A431, 1A9, and HCT-8 with ED50 values of 1.0, 1.2, 0.9, and 1.3 μg/mL respectively. Compound 26 also strongly inhibited the growth of matched tumor cells, KB-VIN and its parent cell KB. Furthermore, analogs 13 and 21 were over fivefold more potent against KB-VIN than KB. Bromination of ring-B and tripropyl functionalization of ring-A enhanced activity, while alkylation of ring-B promoted KB-VIN/KB selectivity. 2-Furyl analog 16 showed selective activity against HUVEC, suggesting that it may have potential as a new prototype for angiogenesis inhibition.
doi:10.1021/jm0702534
PMCID: PMC2526252  PMID: 17569518

Results 1-10 (10)