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Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Heterocyclic Ring-Fused Betulinic Acid Derivatives as Novel Inhibitors of Osteoclast Differentiation and Bone Resorption

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posted on 12.04.2012, 00:00 by Jun Xu, Zhenxi Li, Jian Luo, Fan Yang, Ting Liu, Mingyao Liu, Wen-Wei Qiu, Jie Tang
A series of betulinic acid (BA) derivatives were designed and synthesized by introducing various fused heterocyclic rings at C-2 and C-3 positions. Their inhibitory effects of RANKL-induced osteoclastogenesis were evaluated by using a cell-based tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) activity assay. To our delight, most of these compounds exhibited a dramatic increase in inhibitory potency, compared with BA. The most potent compound, 20, showed 66.9% inhibition even at the low concentration of 0.1 μM, which was about 200-fold more potent than the lead compound BA. What’s more, the cytotoxicity assay on RAW264.7 suggested that the inhibition of 20 on osteoclast differentiation did not result from its cytotoxicity. The primary mechanistic study indicated that 20 could inhibit osteoclastogenesis-related marker gene expression levels of cathepsin K and TRAP. More importantly, 20 could attenuate bone loss of ovariectomy mouse in vivo. Therefore, these BA derivatives could be used as potential leads for the development of a new type of antiosteoporosis agent.

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