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Oncol Res. 2000;12(4):185-92.

4-[3-(2-Nitro-1-imidazolyl)propylamino]-7-chloroquinoline hydrochloride (NLCQ-1), a novel bioreductive compound as a hypoxia-selective cytotoxin.

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The Radiation Medicine Institute at Evanston Northwestern Healthcare, IL 60201, USA.


A novel weakly DNA-intercalative bioreductive compound. 4-[3-(2-nitro-1-imidazolyl)-propylamino]-7-chloroquinoline hydrochloride (NLCQ-1). has been synthesized and studied as a hypoxia-selective cytotoxin in vitro. NLCQ-1, which shares a similar structure with the DNA-intercalative antimalarial drug chloroquine, bound more strongly to DNA than the nonchlorinated analog NLQ-1 (4-[3-(2-nitro-1-imidazolyl)propylamino]-quinaldine hydrochloride). Thus, NLCQ-1 exhibited a C50 [concentration for 50% displacement of the ethidium bromide (EB) from a DNA-EB complex] of 44 microM, whereas a C50 value could not be reached for NLQ-1 up to 225 microM. NLCQ-1 demonstrated significant hypoxic selectivity in several rodent (V79, EMT6, SCCVII) or human (A549, OVCAR-3) tumor cell lines. Its potency as a hypoxic cytotoxin (expressed as the product of exposure time and concentration for 50% survival) ranged between 10 and 136 microM x h, for the cell lines tested, at 30 microM input concentration. Because uptake in all cell lines was similar, the differences in potency may reflect differences in the enzymatic profile or damage repair processes among the cell lines. In addition, however, the most striking feature of NLCQ-1 was that hypoxic selectivity increased with exposure time, a common feature normally found in only bis-bioreductive agents carrying two moieties with different redox potentials. Thus, hypoxic selectivity of NLCQ-1 in V79 cells at 50% survival was increased from fivefold up to 388-fold by increasing exposure time from 1 to 4.5 h, as the result of a concomitant increase and decrease in its hypoxic and aerobic potency, respectively, over time. Because the nonchlorinated analog NLQ-1 did not demonstrate similar behavior, we hypothesized that the C-7 chlorine of NLCQ-1 might play a significant role in this phenomenon.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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