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European journal of medicinal chemistry

Semi-synthesis and antitumor activity of 6-isomers of 5, 8-O-dimethyl acylshikonin derivatives.


PMID 21620530

Abstract

We recently discovered that 5, 8-O-dimethyl acylshikonin derivatives displayed the selectivity towards MCF-7 and no toxicity to normal cells. Herein, a series of the corresponding 6-isomers of 5, 8-O-dimethyl acylshikonin derivatives were synthesized starting from shikonin. In vitro evidence of the cytotoxicities indicated that most of thecompounds were more active than or comparative to shikonin and retained the selectivity against MCF-7, MDA-MB-231 besides no toxicity in the normal cells. Also, inxa0vivo anticancer activity of the positional isomers 5p, 6c further showed that 6-isomers of 5, 8-O-dimethyl acylshikonin derivatives were more active than their corresponding 2-isomers. Thus, we may conclude that the position of the side chain of shikonin attached to 5,8-dimethoxy -1,4-naphthoquinone is associated with the antitumor activity.