Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry

Synthesis and antileukemic activities of C1-C10-modified parthenolide analogues.

PMID 26088334


Parthenolide (PTL) is a sesquiterpene lactone natural product with anti-proliferative activity to cancer cells. Selective eradication of leukemic stem cells (LSCs) over healthy hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) by PTL has been demonstrated in previous studies, which suggests PTL and related molecules may be useful for targeting LSCs. Eradication of LSCs is required for curative therapy. Chemical optimizations of PTL to improve potency and pharmacokinetic parameters have focused largely on the α-methylene-γ-butyrolactone, which is essential for activity. Conversely, we evaluated modifications to the C1-C10 olefin and benchmarked new inhibitors to PTL with respect to inhibitory potency across a panel of cancer cell lines, ability to target drug-resistant acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells, efficacy for inhibiting clonal growth of AML cells, toxicity to healthy bone marrow cells, and efficiency for promoting intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels. Cyclopropane 4 was found to possess less toxicity to healthy bone marrow cells, enhanced potency for the induction of cellular ROS, and similar broad-spectrum anti-proliferative activity to cancer cells in comparison to PTL.