Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

High yield conversion of doxorubicin to 2-pyrrolinodoxorubicin, an analog 500-1000 times more potent: structure-activity relationship of daunosamine-modified derivatives of doxorubicin.

PMID 8637897


A convenient, high yield conversion of doxorubicin to 3'-deamino-3'-(2''-pyrroline-1''-yl)doxorubicin is described. This daunosamine-modified analog of doxorubicin is 500-1000 times more active in vitro than doxorubicin. The conversion is effected by using a 30-fold excess of 4-iodobutyraldehyde in anhydrous dimethylformamide. The yield is higher than 85%. A homolog of this compound, 3'-deamino-3'-(1'',3''-tetrahydropyridine-1''-yl)doxorubicin, was also synthesized by using 5-iodovaleraldehyde. In this homolog, the daunosamine nitrogen is incorporated into a six- instead of a five-membered ring. This analog was 30-50 times less active than its counterpart with a five-membered ring. A similar structure-activity relationship was found when 3'-deamino-3'-(3''-pyrrolidone-1''-yl)doxorubicin (containing a five-membered ring) and 3'-deamino-3'-(3''-piperidone-1''-yl)doxorubicin (with a six-membered ring) were tested in vitro, the former being 5 times more potent than the latter. To further elucidate structure-activity relationships, 3'-deamino-3'-(pyrrolidine-1''-yl)doxorubicin, 3'-deamino-3'-(isoindoline-2''-yl)doxorubicin, 3'-deamino-3'-(2''-methyl-2''-pyrroline-1''-yl)doxorubicin, and 3'-deamino-3'-(3''-pyrroline-1''-yl)doxorubicin were also synthesized and tested. All the analogs were prepared by using reactive halogen compounds for incorporating the daunosamine nitrogen of doxorubicin into a five- or six-membered ring. These highly active antineoplastic agents can be used for incorporation into targeted cytotoxic analogs of luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone intended for cancer therapy.

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