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J Nat Prod. 2013 Sep 27;76(9):1668-78. doi: 10.1021/np400374w. Epub 2013 Sep 9.

Synthesis of a 2-aryl-3-aroyl indole salt (OXi8007) resembling combretastatin A-4 with application as a vascular disrupting agent.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Baylor University , One Bear Place #97348, Waco, Texas 76798-7348, United States.


The natural products colchicine and combretastatin A-4 are potent inhibitors of tubulin assembly, and they have inspired the design and synthesis of a large number of small-molecule, potential anticancer agents. The indole-based molecular scaffold is prominent among these SAR modifications, leading to a rapidly increasing number of agents. The water-soluble phosphate prodrug 33 (OXi8007) of 2-aryl-3-aroylindole-based phenol 8 (OXi8006) was prepared by chemical synthesis and found to be strongly cytotoxic against selected human cancer cell lines (GI₅₀ = 36 nM against DU-145 cells, for example). The free phenol, 8 (OXi8006), was a strong inhibitor (IC₅₀ = 1.1 μM) of tubulin assembly. The corresponding phosphate prodrug 33 (OXi8007) also demonstrated pronounced interference with tumor vasculature in a preliminary in vivo study utilizing a SCID mouse model bearing an orthotopic PC-3 (prostate) tumor as imaged by color Doppler ultrasound. The combination of these results provides evidence that the indole-based phosphate prodrug 33 (OXi8007) functions as a vascular disrupting agent that may prove useful for the treatment of cancer.

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