A new approach to the synthesis of sphingoid bases has been developed. The strategy is based on Sonogashira coupling of a chiral acetylenic carbamate that can be prepared in enantiomerically enriched form from 2,3-epoxy-4-pentyn-1-ol, which is readily accessible by Sharpless asymmetric epoxidation. Several N-Boc-sphingadienines and aromatic ceramide analogs have been synthesized.
Aiming to address new drug targets, molecular modelling is gaining increasing importance although the prediction capability of the in silico method is still under debate. For an improved treatment of actinic keratosis and squamous cell carcinoma, inhibitors of human DNA polymerase alpha (pol alpha) are developed by docking nucleoside phosphonate diphosphates into the active site of pol alpha. The most promising prodrugs OxBu and OxHex were then prepared by total synthesis and tested in the squamous cancer cell line SCC25. OxBu and OxHex proved cytotoxic and antiproliferative in the nanomolar concentration range and thus exceeded activity of aphidicolin, the relevant model compound, and 5-fluorouracil, the current standard for the therapy of actinic keratosis. Interestingly, the cytotoxicity in normal human keratinocytes with OxHex was clearly less pronounced and even not detectable with OxBu. Moreover, cytotoxicity of OxBu in particular with the colorectal carcinoma cell line HT29 even surmounted cytotoxicity in SCC25, and other tumor cell lines were influenced, too, by both agents. Taken together, OxBu and OxHex may offer a new approach to cancer therapy, given the agents are sufficiently well tolerated in vivo which is to be suspected beside their chemical structure.
Recently, the three-dimensional structure of the active site of human DNA polymerase alpha (pol alpha) was proposed based on the application of molecular modeling methods and molecular dynamic simulations. The modeled structure of the enzyme was used for docking selective inhibitors (nucleotide analogs and the non-nucleoside inhibitor aphidicolin) in its active site in order to design new drugs for actinic keratosis and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). The resulting complexes explained the geometrical and physicochemical interactions of the inhibitors with the amino acid residues involved in binding to the catalytic site, and offered insight into the experimentally derived binding data. The proposed structures were synthesized and tested in vitro for their influence on human keratinocytes and relevant tumor cell lines. Effects were compared to aphidicolin which inhibits pol alpha in a non-competitive manner, as well as to diclofenac and 5-fluorouracil, both approved for therapy of actinic keratosis. Here we describe three new nucleoside analogs inhibiting keratinocyte proliferation by inhibiting DNA synthesis and inducing apoptosis and necrosis. Thus, the combination of modeling studies and in vitro tests should allow the derivation of new drug candidates for the therapy of skin tumors, given that the agents are not relevant substrates of nucleotide transporters expressed by skin cancer cells. Kinases for nucleoside activation were detected, too, corresponding with the observed effects of nucleoside analogs.
Designed as a new group of tricyclic molecules containing the thienocycloheptapyridazinone ring system, a number of 2N-substituted-hexahydrothienocycloheptapyridazinone derivatives were synthesized and their biological activity evaluated. Among the synthesized compounds, derivatives 7d and 7h were found to possess cytotoxic activity against non-small cell lung cancer and central nervous system cancer cell lines, respectively.
Antitumour activity was observed in a series of tricyclic compounds characterised by a 2-(1H-pyrrol-3-yl)-1,3,4-oxadiazole moiety with various substitutions. Their synthesis and antiproliferative activity toward a panel of human tumour cell lines is described. The most interesting compounds 1 c and 4 c were selected for further evaluation to elucidate their possible mechanism of action.Interesting antitumour activity was observed in a series of tricyclic compounds characterised by the presence of a 2-(1H-pyrrol-3-yl)-1,3,4-oxadiazole moiety that is variously substituted. Their synthesis and antiproliferative activity toward a panel of human tumour cell lines is described. The two most interesting compounds were selected for further evaluation to elucidate their possible mechanism of action. Analysis of cell cycle, tubulin polymerisation, modulation of mitotic markers of the M phase, and apoptosis showed that antimitotic activity is the primary mechanism of the cytotoxic effects of these compounds. Experiments performed on isolated tubulin confirmed that the compounds act by inducing tubulin polymerisation, like taxanes. The binding model against tubulin was also examined by molecular modelling and docking. The results support the proposed binding model, which is able to explain the activity of the oxadiazole derivatives on the basis of their docking energy.
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