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Org Biomol Chem. 2013 Oct 21;11(39):6680-5. doi: 10.1039/c3ob41504j. Epub 2013 Aug 29.

Ligand/PTC-free intramolecular Heck reaction: synthesis of pyrroloquinoxalines and their evaluation against PDE4/luciferase/oral cancer cell growth in vitro and zebrafish in vivo.

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  • 1Dr Reddy's Institute of Life Sciences, University of Hyderabad Campus, Gachibowli, Hyderabad 500046, India.


A series of 1,3-disubstituted pyrrolo[2,3-b]quinoxalines has been designed for the potential inhibition of PDE4 without inhibiting luciferase. A ligand/PTC (phase transfer catalyst) free intramolecular Heck cyclization strategy was used to prepare these compounds, some of which showed significant inhibition of PDE4B (IC50≈ 5-14 μM) and growth inhibition of oral cancer cells (CAL 27) but not inhibition of luciferase in vitro. They also showed acceptable safety profiles but no apoptosis in zebrafish embryos.

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