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J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2000 Dec 31;75(4-5):253-8.

Inhibition of steroid sulphatase activity by tricyclic coumarin sulphamates.

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Endocrinology and Metabolic Medicine, Imperial College School of Medicine, St. Mary's Hospital, Praed Street, W2 1NY, London, UK.


The identification of the active pharmacophore required for potent inhibition of steroid sulphatase activity, i.e. an aryl-O-sulphamate structure, has led to the synthesis and testing of a large number of 1-4 ring-based inhibitors. 4-Methylcoumarin-7-O-sulphamate (COUMATE) was one of the first non-steroid based inhibitors identified. In an attempt to increase the potency of this class of inhibitor a series of tricyclic COUMATEs (665-6615 COUMATEs) have been synthesised and evaluated. Using placental microsomes as a source of oestrone sulphatase (E1-STS) the size of the third ring of the tricyclic COUMATEs was found to have a marked effect on inhibitor potency. Whereas 665- and 6615-COUMATEs had IC(50)s of 200 and 370 nM, respectively, the most potent inhibitor in vitro in this series was 6610 COUMATE with an IC(50) of 1 nM. Selected inhibitors were tested for their in vivo potency by administration of a single dose (0.1 or 1 mg/kg, p.o.) to female rats. Surprisingly, in vivo 6615 COUMATE proved to be the most active drug, inhibiting rat liver E1-STS activity by 23 and 94% when assayed 24 h after administration of the 0.1 and 1 mg/kg doses. E1-STS activity in brain tissue and white blood cells was also found to be inhibited when selected drugs were tested. These studies have identified a number of tricyclic COUMATEs with therapeutic potential.

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