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Synthesis and Structure−Activity Relationships of a New Series of Retinoid-Related Biphenyl-4-ylacrylic Acids Endowed with Antiproliferative and Proapoptotic Activity

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journal contribution
posted on 28.07.2005, 00:00 by Raffaella Cincinelli, Sabrina Dallavalle, Raffaella Nannei, Serena Carella, Daniele De Zani, Lucio Merlini, Sergio Penco, Enrico Garattini, Giuseppe Giannini, Claudio Pisano, Loredana Vesci, Paolo Carminati, Valentina Zuco, Chiara Zanchi, Franco Zunino
Atypical retinoids (AR) represent a class of proapoptotic agents with promising potential in the treatment of neoplastic diseases. In the present work 4‘-hydroxybiphenyl-4-ylacrylic acids were studied as a novel series of AR. The synthesized compounds were evaluated for their antiproliferative activity in a human promyelocytic leukemia cell line (NB4) and in an ovarian carcinoma cell system including IGROV-1, carrying a functional wild-type p53, and a cisplatin-resistant subline, IGROV-1/Pt-1. The presence of a bulky lipophilic group at position 3‘ (adamantan-1-yl being the best) and the E configuration of the acrylic moiety appear essential for activity below 1 μM. No substitution on the rings or on the double bond improved the activity. A qualitative correlation between the log P and molecular volume of the 3‘-substituent and the antiproliferative activity was found. From the study of a few selected compounds, it appears that the presence of the carboxylic group is an essential requirement for apoptogenic properties but not for antiproliferative activity, this being maintained in amide derivatives. On the other hand, compounds able to induce apoptosis produced a detectable level of genotoxic damage. This observation supports the hypothesis that the genotoxic stress is a critical event mediating apoptosis induction by compounds of this class. Among the compounds investigated, E-3-(3‘-adamantan-1-yl-4‘-hydroxybiphenyl-4-yl)acrylic acid (2) was chosen for further investigation.