A novel synthetic 1,3-phenyl bis-thiourea compound targets microtubule polymerization to cause cancer cell death.
ABSTRACT: Microtubules are essential cytoskeletal components with a central role in mitosis and have been particularly useful as a cancer chemotherapy target. We synthesized a small molecule derivative of a symmetrical 1,3-phenyl bis-thiourea, (1,1'-[1,3-phenylene]bis[3-(3,5-dimethylphenyl)thiourea], named "41J"), and identified a potent effect of the compound on cancer cell survival. 41J is cytotoxic to multiple cancer cell lines at nanomolar concentrations. Cell death occurred by apoptosis and was preceded by mitotic arrest in prometaphase. Prometaphase arrest induced by 41J treatment was accompanied by dissociation of cyclin B1 levels from the apparent mitotic stage and by major spindle abnormalities. Polymerization of purified tubulin in vitro was directly inhibited by 41J, suggesting that the compound works by directly interfering with microtubule function. Compound 41J arrested the growth of glioblastoma multiforme xenografts in nude mice at doses that were well-tolerated, demonstrating a relatively specific antitumor effect. Importantly, 41J overcame drug resistance due to ?-tubulin mutation and P-glycoprotein overexpression. Compound 41J may serve as a useful new lead compound for anticancer therapy development.
Project description:A new series of potent potent aryl/alkylated (bis)urea- and (bis)thiourea polyamine analogues were synthesized and evaluated in vitro for their antiplasmodial activity. Altering the carbon backbone and terminal substituents increased the potency of analogues in the compound library 3-fold, with the most active compounds, 15 and 16, showing half-maximal inhibitory concentrations (IC50 values) of 28 and 30 nM, respectively, against various Plasmodium falciparum parasite strains without any cross-resistance. In vitro evaluation of the cytotoxicity of these analogues revealed marked selectivity towards targeting malaria parasites compared to mammalian HepG2 cells (>5000-fold lower IC50 against the parasite). Preliminary biological evaluation of the polyamine analogue antiplasmodial phenotype revealed that (bis)urea compounds target parasite asexual proliferation, whereas (bis)thiourea compounds of the same series have the unique ability to block transmissible gametocyte forms of the parasite, indicating pluripharmacology against proliferative and non-proliferative forms of the parasite. In this manuscript, we describe these results and postulate a refined structure-activity relationship (SAR) model for antiplasmodial polyamine analogues. The terminally aryl/alkylated (bis)urea- and (bis)thiourea-polyamine analogues featuring a 3-5-3 or 3-6-3 carbon backbone represent a structurally novel and distinct class of potential antiplasmodials with activities in the low nanomolar range, and high selectivity against various lifecycle forms of P. falciparum parasites.
Project description:Picropodophyllin (PPP) is an anticancer drug undergoing clinical development in NSCLC. PPP has been shown to suppress IGF-1R signaling and to induce a G2/M cell cycle phase arrest but the exact mechanisms remain to be elucidated. The present study identified an IGF-1-independent mechanism of PPP leading to pro-metaphase arrest. The mitotic block was induced in human cancer cell lines and in an A549 xenograft mouse but did not occur in normal hepatocytes/mouse tissues. Cell cycle arrest by PPP occurred in vitro and in vivo accompanied by prominent CDK1 activation, and was IGF-1R-independent since it occurred also in IGF-1R-depleted and null cells. The tumor cells were not arrested in G2/M but in mitosis. Centrosome separation was prevented during mitotic entry, resulting in a monopolar mitotic spindle with subsequent prometaphase-arrest, independent of Plk1/Aurora A or Eg5, and leading to cell features of mitotic catastrophe. PPP also increased soluble tubulin and decreased spindle-associated tubulin within minutes, indicating that it interfered with microtubule dynamics. These results provide a novel IGF-1R-independent mechanism of antitumor effects of PPP.
Project description:We previously identified 1-(2,4-dimethoxyphenyl)-3-(1-methylindolyl) propenone (IPP51), a new chalcone derivative that is capable of inducing prometaphase arrest and subsequent apoptosis of bladder cancer cells. Here, we demonstrate that IPP51 selectively inhibits proliferation of tumor-derived cells versus normal non-tumor cells. IPP51 interfered with spindle formation and mitotic chromosome alignment. Accumulation of cyclin B1 and mitotic checkpoint proteins Bub1 and BubR1 on chromosomes in IPP51 treated cells indicated the activation of spindle-assembly checkpoint, which is consistent with the mitotic arrest. The antimitotic actions of other chalcones are often associated with microtubule disruption. Indeed, IPP51 inhibited tubulin polymerization in an in vitro assay with purified tubulin. In cells, IPP51 induced an increase in soluble tubulin. Furthermore, IPP51 inhibited in vitro capillary-like tube formation by endothelial cells, indicating that it has anti-angiogenic activity. Molecular docking showed that the indol group of IPP51 can be accommodated in the colchicine binding site of tubulin. This characteristic was confirmed by an in vitro competition assay demonstrating that IPP51 can compete for colchicine binding to soluble tubulin. Finally, in a human bladder xenograft mouse model, IPP51 inhibited tumor growth without signs of toxicity. Altogether, these findings suggest that IPP51 is an attractive new microtubule-targeting agent with potential chemotherapeutic value.
Project description:Four different 1-aminocyclohexanes bearing a tethered thioxanthone group in the 2-position were prepared. The synthesis commenced with the respective N-protected β-amino acids, the carboxyl group of which was employed for the introduction of the thioxanthone moiety. After construction of the thioxanthone and protecting group removal, the conversion of the amino group into the respective thiourea was accomplished by treatment with -3,5-bis(trifluoromethyl)phenyl isothiocyanate and yielded the title compounds in which the thioxanthone resides in different spatial positions relative to the thiourea motif. Overall yields varied between 20–35%.
Project description:Catalysis of Cope-type rearrangements of bis-homoallylic hydroxylamines is demonstrated using chiral thiourea derivatives. This formal intramolecular hydroamination reaction provides access to highly enantioenriched ?-substituted pyrrolidine products and represents a complementary approach to metal-catalyzed methods.
Project description:A cocatalyst system consisting of an alkylamine base and a bis(thiourea) featuring a linear alkane tether is shown to dramatically increase the rate of ring-opening polymerization (ROP) of L-lactide versus previously disclosed monothiourea H-bond donors. Rate acceleration occurs regardless of the identity of the alkylamine cocatalyst, and the ROP remains controlled yielding poly(lactide) with narrow molecular weight distributions, predictable molecular weights and high selectivity for monomer. This H-bond mediated ROP of L-lactide constitutes a rare, clear example of rate acceleration with bis(thiourea) H-bond donors versus monothioureas, and the bis(thiourea) is shown to remain highly active for ROP at fractional percent catalyst loadings. Activation at a single monomer ester by both thiourea moieties is implicated as the source of rate acceleration.
Project description:A series of 18 regio- and stereo-chemically diverse chiral non-racemic 1,2-, 1,3-, and 1,4-diamines have been synthesized from commercial (1S)-(+)-ketopinic acid and (1S)-(+)-10-camphorsulfonic acid. The structures of the diamines are all based on the d-(+)-camphor scaffold and feature isomeric diversity in terms of regioisomeric attachment of the primary and the tertiary amine function and the exo/endo-isomerism. Diamines were transformed into the corresponding noncovalent bifunctional thiourea organocatalysts, which have been evaluated for catalytic activity in the conjugative addition of 1,3-dicarbonyl nucleophiles (dimethyl malonate, acetylacetone, and dibenzoylmethane) to trans-?-nitrostyrene. The highest enantioselectivity was achieved in the reaction with acetylacetone as nucleophile using endo-1,3-diamine derived catalyst 52 (91.5:8.5 er). All new organocatalysts 48-63 have been fully characterized. The structures and the absolute configurations of eight intermediates and thiourea derivative 52 were also determined by X-ray diffraction.
Project description:Earlier studies showed that 2-methoxyestradiol (2ME(2)), an endogenous nonpolar metabolite of estradiol-17?, is a strong inducer of G(2)/M cell cycle arrest (based on analysis of cellular DNA content) in human cancer cell lines. The present study sought to investigate the molecular mechanism underlying 2ME(2)-induced cell cycle arrest. We found that 2ME(2) can selectively induce mitotic prometaphase arrest, but not G(2) phase arrest, in cultured MDA-MB-435s and MCF-7 human breast cancer cells. During the induction of prometaphase arrest, there is a time-dependent initial up-regulation of cyclin B1 and Cdc2 proteins, occurring around 12-24h. The strong initial up-regulation of cyclin B1 and Cdc2 matches in timing the 2ME(2)-induced prometaphase arrest. The 2ME(2)-induced prometaphase arrest is abrogated by selective knockdown of cyclin B1 and Cdc2, or by pre-treatment of cells with roscovitine, an inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinases, or by co-treatment of cells with cycloheximide, a protein synthesis inhibitor that was found to suppress the early up-regulation of cyclin B1 and Cdc2. In addition, we provided evidence showing that MAD2 and JNK1 are important upstream mediators of 2ME(2)-induced up-regulation of cyclin B1 and Cdc2 as well as the subsequent induction of mitotic prometaphase arrest. In conclusion, treatment of human cancer cells with 2ME(2) causes up-regulation of cyclin B1 and Cdc2, which then mediate the induction of mitotic prometaphase arrest.
Project description:We describe the rational design of a linked, bis-thiourea catalyst with enhanced activity relative to monomeric analogues in a representative enantioselective anion-abstraction reaction. Mechanistic insights guide development of this linking strategy to favor substrate activation though the intramolecular cooperation of two thiourea subunits while avoiding nonproductive aggregation. The resulting catalyst platform overcomes many of the practical limitations that have plagued hydrogen-bond-donor catalysis and enables use of catalyst loadings as low as 0.05 mol %. Computational analyses of possible anion-binding modes provide detailed insight into the precise mechanism of anion-abstraction catalysis with this pseudo-dimeric thiourea.
Project description:Tubulin modulating agents such as the taxanes are among the most effective antimitotic cancer drugs, although resistance and toxicity present significant problems in their clinical use. However, most tubulin modulators are derived from complex natural products, which can make modification of their structure to address these problems difficult. Here, we report the discovery of new antimitotic compounds with simple structures that can be rapidly synthesized, through the phenotypic screening of a diverse compound library for the induction of mitotic arrest. We first identified a compound, which induced mitotic arrest in human cells at submicromolar concentrations. Its simple structure enabled rapid exploration of activity, defining a biphenylacetamide moiety required for activity, A family of analogues was synthesized, yielding optimized compounds that caused mitotic arrest and cell death in the low nanomolar range, comparable to clinically used antimitotic agents. These compounds can be synthesized in 1-3 steps and good yields. We show that one such compound targets tubulin, partially inhibiting colchicine but not vinblastine binding, suggesting that it acts allosterically to the known colchicine-binding site. Thus, our results exemplify the use of phenotypic screening to identify novel antimitotic compounds from diverse chemical libraries and characterize a family of biphenylacetamides (biphenabulins) that show promise for further development.