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Investigation of the Structure–Activity Relationships of Aza-A-Ring Indenoisoquinoline Topoisomerase I Poisons

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posted on 12.04.2016 by Daniel E. Beck, P. V. Narasimha Reddy, Wei Lv, Monica Abdelmalak, Gabrielle S. Tender, Sophia Lopez, Keli Agama, Christophe Marchand, Yves Pommier, Mark Cushman
Several indenoisoquinolines have shown promise as anticancer agents in clinical trials. Incorporation of a nitrogen atom into the indenoisoquinoline scaffold offers the possibility of favorably modulating ligand-binding site interactions, physicochemical properties, and biological activities. Four series of aza-A-ring indenoisoquinolines were synthesized in which the nitrogen atom was systematically rotated through positions 1, 2, 3, and 4. The resulting compounds were tested to establish the optimal nitrogen position for topoisomerase IB (Top1) enzyme poisoning activity and cytotoxicity to human cancer cells. The 4-aza compounds were the most likely to yield derivatives with high Top1 inhibitory activity. However, the relationship between structure and cytotoxicity was more complicated since the potency was influenced strongly by the side chains on the lactam nitrogen. The most cytotoxic azaindenoisoquinolines 45 and 46 had nitrogen in the 2- or 3-positions and a 3′-dimethylaminopropyl side chain, and they had MGM GI50 values that were slightly better than the corresponding indenoisoquinoline 64.

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