Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry

Synthesis and biological evaluation of new disubstituted analogues of 6-methoxy-3-(3',4',5'-trimethoxybenzoyl)-1H-indole (BPR0L075), as potential antivascular agents.

PMID 18583138


6-Methoxy-3-(3',4',5'-trimethoxybenzoyl)-1H-indole (BPR0L075) (1) is a potent inhibitor of tubulin polymerization which exhibits both in vitro and in vivo activities against a broad spectrum of solid tumors. This compound was designed as a heterocyclic analogue of combretastatin A4 (CA-4), a natural stilbene derivative that disrupts the tumor vasculature and causes tumor regression. In the present work, we describe the design and synthesis of several new disubstituted analogues of 1, along with their biological evaluation as potential antivascular agents. Compound 13, bearing a hydroxyl group at the 7-position of the indole nucleus that mimics the hydroxyl group at the 3-position of the B-ring of CA-4, was identified as a potent inhibitor of tubulin polymerization and also as a cytotoxic agent against B16 melanoma cells at sub-micromolar concentration. In addition, compound 13 displayed marked morphological activity (rounding up) at nanomolar concentrations on endothelial cells (EA.hy 926 cells), which is indicative of potential antivascular activity. Interestingly, the corresponding 7-O-mesylate derivative 28 (an intermediate in the synthesis of 13), was also found active in cellular assays, although it was moderately active in the tubulin polymerization inhibition test. Finally, in order to better understand the SAR of disubstituted analogues of 1, two other position isomers (10 and 14), were synthesized and evaluated for their biological activities. It was noted that the 7-hydroxysubstituted analogue 13 was more potent than the 5-hydroxysubstituted analogue 10. In conclusion, this work has allowed the identification of biologically potent CA-4 analogues (13 and 28) and also contributes to a better understanding of the SAR of 1.