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J Med Chem. 2008 Apr 10;51(7):2279-90. doi: 10.1021/jm701595q. Epub 2008 Mar 19.

epigenetic multiple ligands: mixed histone/protein methyltransferase, acetyltransferase, and class III deacetylase (sirtuin) inhibitors.

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Istituto Pasteur-Fondazione Cenci Bolognetti, Dipartimento di Studi Farmaceutici, Università degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza, Piazzale A. Moro 5, 00185 Rome, Italy.


A number of new compounds bearing two ortho-bromo- and ortho, ortho-dibromophenol moieties linked through a saturated/unsaturated, linear/(poly)cyclic spacer (compounds 1- 9) were prepared as simplified analogues of AMI-5 (eosin), a recently reported inhibitor of both protein arginine and histone lysine methyltransferases (PRMTs and HKMTs). Such compounds were tested against a panel of PRMTs (RmtA, PRMT1, and CARM1) and against human SET7 (a HKMT), using histone and nonhistone proteins as a substrate. They were also screened against HAT and SIRTs, because they are structurally related to some HAT and/or SIRT modulators. From the inhibitory data, some of tested compounds ( 1b, 1c, 4b, 4f, 4j, 4l, 7b, and 7f) were able to inhibit PRMTs, HKMT, HAT, and SIRTs with similar potency, thus behaving as multiple ligands for these epigenetic targets (epi-MLs). When tested on the human leukemia U937 cell line, the epi-MLs induced high apoptosis levels [i.e., 40.7% ( 4l) and 42.6% ( 7b)] and/or massive, dose-dependent cytodifferentiation [i.e., 95.2% ( 1c) and 96.1% ( 4j)], whereas the single-target inhibitors eosin, curcumin, and sirtinol were ineffective or showed a weak effect.

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