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J Med Chem. 2006 Oct 19;49(21):6273-82.

Synthesis and structure-activity relationships of carbazole sulfonamides as a novel class of antimitotic agents against solid tumors.

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Department of Chemistry, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia 30303-3083, USA.


Two series of carbazole sulfonamides related to Combretastatin A4 (1) were synthesized and evaluated for antiproliferative activity. Thirteen of the 26 new sulfonamides exhibited IC(50) values of <1 muM against CEM leukemia cells. Five compounds were evaluated against a panel of eight human tumor cell lines. 9-Ethyl-N-(3,4,5-trimethoxyphenyl)-carbazole-3-sulfonamide (11a) showed significant antitumor activity in two human xenograft models (MCF-7 and Bel-7402). Preliminary studies with 11a showed that the mode of action involves arrest of M-phase cell cycle and induction of apoptosis by increasing expression of p53 and promoting bcl-2 phosphorylation. Unexpectedly, 11a only weakly inhibits tubulin polymerization, which suggests that the mode of action of 11a differs from 1 and involves an unidentified target(s). Also, the SAR information gleaned from ring A-substituted analogues varies significantly from that of 1. Carbazole sulfonamides are a novel promising class of antimitotic agents with clinical development potential.

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