Synthesis of Triphenylethylene Bisphenols as Aromatase Inhibitors That Also Modulate Estrogen Receptors

A series of triphenylethylene bisphenol analogues of the selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM) tamoxifen were synthesized and evaluated for their abilities to inhibit aromatase, bind to estrogen receptor α (ER-α) and estrogen receptor β (ER-β), and antagonize the activity of β-estradiol in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells. The long-range goal has been to create dual aromatase inhibitor (AI)/selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs). The hypothesis is that in normal tissue the estrogenic SERM activity of a dual AI/SERM could attenuate the undesired effects stemming from global estrogen depletion caused by the AI activity of a dual AI/SERM, while in breast cancer tissue the antiestrogenic SERM activity of a dual AI/SERM could act synergistically with AI activity to enhance the antiproliferative effect. The potent aromatase inhibitory activities and high ER-α and ER-β binding affinities of several of the resulting analogues, together with the facts that they antagonize β-estradiol in a functional assay in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells and they have no E/Z isomers, support their further development in order to obtain dual AI/SERM agents for breast cancer treatment.