Antitumor polycyclic acridines. Part 12. Physical and biological properties of 8,13-diethyl-6-methylquino[4,3,2-kl]acridinium iodide: a lead compound in anti-cancer drug design

Missailidis, Sotiris; Stanslas, Johnson; Modi, Chetna; Ellis, Michael J.; Robins, R Adrian; Laughton, Charles A. and Stevens, Malcolm F.G. (2002). Antitumor polycyclic acridines. Part 12. Physical and biological properties of 8,13-diethyl-6-methylquino[4,3,2-kl]acridinium iodide: a lead compound in anti-cancer drug design. Oncology Research incorporating Anticancer Drug Design, 13(3) pp. 175–189.

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Abstract

The biophysical and biological characterization of 8,13-diethyl-6-methylquino[4,3,2-kl]acridinium iodide (6) is reported. The compound binds to DNA, as measured by UV, fluorescence, and circular dichroism studies, and stabilizes the double helix and higher order DNA structures (DNA triplexes and quadruplexes) against thermal denaturation. Unlike many DNA ligands, (6) shows no specificity for binding to specific base pair combinations and does not inhibit topoisomerase I (topo 1) or topo II activity. Furthermore, the biological fingerprint elicited by (6) in in vitro evaluations does not compare with clinical agents of the topo H inhibition class. The compound provokes cell cycle arrest in response to DNA damage and the biological sequelae are dependent on the p53 status of the cell line. DNA damage by (6) upregulates p53 and p2l(CIP/) WAR proteins. The unusual structure of (6) and its ease of synthesis in a "one-pot" reaction are features that are being exploited in the design and development of a new series of G-quadruplex stabilizing telomerase inhibitors. However, although the second-generation compounds that resulted from (6) present strong telomerase inhibition, (6) in itself presents yet a different mode of action, with a strong preference for triplex DNA, sequences often found in a number of genes.

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