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J Med Chem. 1992 Oct 30;35(22):4160-4.

Structural modifications of camptothecin and effects on topoisomerase I inhibition.

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Sterling Laboratory of Chemistry, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06511.


Camptothecin (1), a potent antitumor alkaloid, is known to inhibit topoisomerase I, an enzyme that relaxes supercoiled DNA. Modifications have been made to the B, D, and E rings of this natural product. Specifically, compounds 2-10 either have an ester moiety in place of the E ring lactone, a methyl ester attached to position 14, a saturated (or nonexistent) deaza B ring, or contain a combination of these permutations. We have conducted in vitro assays against the topoisomerase I relaxation reaction which verify the necessity for a lactone in the E ring. Furthermore, steric requirements at position 14 are shown to be crucial for activity, and planarity of the A and B rings of camptothecin is also implicated in the ability of the drug to inhibit topoisomerase I. Speculation on the nature of the drug binding pocket is presented.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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