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J Med Chem. 2012 Oct 25;55(20):8859-78. doi: 10.1021/jm3011542. Epub 2012 Oct 12.

Synthetic silvestrol analogues as potent and selective protein synthesis inhibitors.

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Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 780 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.


Misregulation of protein translation plays a critical role in human cancer pathogenesis at many levels. Silvestrol, a cyclopenta[b]benzofuran natural product, blocks translation at the initiation step by interfering with assembly of the eIF4F translation complex. Silvestrol has a complex chemical structure whose functional group requirements have not been systematically investigated. Moreover, silvestrol has limited development potential due to poor druglike properties. Herein, we sought to develop a practical synthesis of key intermediates of silvestrol and explore structure-activity relationships around the C6 position. The ability of silvestrol and analogues to selectively inhibit the translation of proteins with high requirement on the translation-initiation machinery (i.e., complex 5'-untranslated region UTR) relative to simple 5'UTR was determined by a cellular reporter assay. Simplified analogues of silvestrol such as compounds 74 and 76 were shown to have similar cytotoxic potency and better ADME characteristics relative to those of silvestrol.

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