Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry

Synthesis and biological evaluation of a series of podophyllotoxins derivatives as a class of potent antitubulin agents.

PMID 23022053


A series of eight novel podophyllotoxin derivatives were designed, synthesized and evaluated for biological activities. The antiproliferative activities were tested against a panel of human cancer cell lines (K562, SGC, Hela and HepG) and the inhibition of tubulin polymerization was also evaluated. Compound 8e displayed significant antiproliferative activities for all four cell lines and strong levels of tubulin polymerization inhibition effect. Combined with cell apoptosis and cell cycle analysis, it demonstrated that compound 3e that effectively interfere with tubulin dynamics prevent mitosis in cancer cells, leading to cell cycle arrest and, eventually dose dependent apoptosis. All experimental measurements were also supported by molecular docking simulations of colchicine binding site, which revealed the governing forces for the binding behavior and a good relationship with anti-tubulin activity and antiproliferative activities. The synthesis and biological studies provided an interesting new class of antitubulin agents for development of lead compounds and also a direction for further structure modification to obtain more potent anti-cancer drugs.