Derivatisation of parthenolide to address chemoresistant chronic lymphocytic leukaemia

Li, Xingjian; Payne, Daniel T.; Ampolu, Badarinath; Bland, Nicholas; Brown, Jane T.; Dutton, Mark J.; Fitton, Catherine A.; Gulliver, Abigail; Hale, Lee; Hamza, Daniel; Jones, Geraint; Lane, Rebecca; Leach, Andrew G.; Male, Louise; Merisor, Elena G.; Morton, Michael J.; Quy, Alex S.; Roberts, Ruth; Scarll, Rosanna; Schulz-Utermoehl, Timothy; Stankovic, Tatjana; Stevenson, Brett; Fossey, John S. and Agathanggelou, Angelo (2019). Derivatisation of parthenolide to address chemoresistant chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. MedChemComm, 10(8) pp. 1379–1390.



Parthenolide is a natural product that exhibits anti-leukaemic activity, however, its clinical use is limited by its poor bioavailability. It may be extracted from feverfew and protocols for growing, extracting and derivatising it are reported. A novel parthenolide derivative with good bioavailability and pharmacological properties was identified through a screening cascade based on in vitro anti-leukaemic activity and calculated “drug-likeness” properties, in vitro and in vivo pharmacokinetics studies and hERG liability testing. In vitro studies showed the most promising derivative to have comparable anti-leukaemic activity to DMAPT, a previously described parthenolide derivative. The newly identified compound was shown to have pro-oxidant activity and in silico molecular docking studies indicate a prodrug mode of action. A synthesis scheme is presented for the production of amine 7 used in the generation of 5f.

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