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ChemMedChem

Simplified silvestrol analogues with potent cytotoxic activity.


PMID 24677741

Abstract

The complex natural products silvestrol (1) and episilvestrol (2) are inhibitors of translation initiation through binding to the DEAD-box helicase eukaryotic initiation factor 4A (eIF4A). Both compounds are potently cytotoxic to cancer cells in vitro, and 1 has demonstrated efficacy in vivo in several xenograft cancer models. Here we show that 2 has limited plasma membrane permeability and is metabolized in liver microsomes in a manner consistent with that reported for 1. In addition, we have prepared a series of analogues of these compounds where the complex pseudo-sugar at C6 has been replaced with chemically simpler moieties to improve drug-likeness. Selected compounds from this work possess excellent activity in biochemical and cellular translation assays with potent activity against leukemia cell lines.