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Taccalonolide Microtubule Stabilizers Generated Using Semisynthesis Define the Effects of Mono Acyloxy Moieties at C‑7 or C‑15 and Disubstitutions at C‑7 and C‑25

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posted on 23.01.2018, 16:59 by Antonius R. B. Ola, April L. Risinger, Lin Du, Cynthia L. Zammiello, Jiangnan Peng, Robert H. Cichewicz, Susan L. Mooberry
The taccalonolides are a unique class of microtubule stabilizers isolated from Tacca spp. that have efficacy against drug-resistant tumors. Our previous studies have demonstrated that a C-15 acetoxy taccalonolide, AF, has superior in vivo antitumor efficacy compared to AJ, which bears a C-15 hydroxy group. With the goal of further improving the in vivo efficacy of this class of compounds, we semisynthesized and tested the biological activities of 28 new taccalonolides with monosubstitutions at C-7 or C-15 or disubstitutions at C-7 and C-25, covering a comprehensive range of substituents from formic acid to anthraquinone-2-carbonyl chloride. The resulting taccalonolide analogues with diverse C-7/C-15/C-25 modifications exhibited IC50 values from 2.4 nM to >20 μM, allowing for extensive in vitro structure–activity evaluations. This semisynthetic strategy was unable to provide a taccalonolide with improved therapeutic window due to hydrolysis of substituents at C-7 or C-15 regardless of size or steric bulk. However, two of the most potent new taccalonolides, bearing isovalerate modifications at C-7 or C-15, demonstrated potent and highly persistent antitumor activity in a drug-resistant xenograft model when administered intratumorally. This study demonstrates that targeted delivery of the taccalonolides to the tumor could be an effective, long-lasting approach to treat drug-resistant tumors.