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Chem Biodivers. 2004 Sep;1(9):1265-80.

Synthesis, cytotoxicity, and apoptosis induction in human tumor cells by geiparvarin analogues.

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  • 1Dipartimento di Scienze Farmaceutiche, Via Marzolo 5, I-35131 Padova.


A series of geiparvarin analogues modified on the unsaturated alkenyloxy bridge, where a H-atom replaced the 3'-Me group, were synthesized and evaluated against a panel of human tumor cell lines in vitro. These compounds demonstrated a stronger increase in growth inhibitory activity when compared to the parent compound geiparvarin (8). In particular, the activity increased even further in the series of demethylated compounds when a Me substituent in the coumarin moiety is introduced. On the contrary, the same modifications exerted on the parent compound led to an activity reduction. Interestingly, the new derivatives proved to be fully inhibitory to drug-resistant cell lines, thus suggesting that they are not subject to the pump-mediating efflux of antitumor drugs. On the basis of their cytotoxic profiles, the most-active compounds were selected for further biological evaluation. The extracellular acidification rate by the new geiparvarin analogues was measured with the Cytosensor microphysiometer. The new derivatives significantly increased the acidification rate during the 24-48 h of incubation in a concentration-dependent manner. Cell-cycle analysis, evaluated by flow cytometry, revealed a strong apoptotic induction by these compounds confirmed by DNA laddering and observation by electron microscopy. Interestingly, the apoptotic pathway did not appear to be mediated by the activation of caspase-3.

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