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Eur J Med Chem. 2019 Jun 6;178:329-340. doi: 10.1016/j.ejmech.2019.06.013. [Epub ahead of print]

Targeting dihydrofolate reductase: Design, synthesis and biological evaluation of novel 6-substituted pyrrolo[2,3-d]pyrimidines as nonclassical antifolates and as potential antitumor agents.

Author information

1
Department of Medicinal Chemistry, School of Pharmacy, Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang, 050017, PR China.
2
Department of Toxicology, School of Public Health, Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang, 050017, PR China.
3
Department of Toxicology, School of Public Health, Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang, 050017, PR China; Hebei Province Key Laboratory of Environment and Human Health, Shijiazhuang, 050017, PR China. Electronic address: liuyi78@hebmu.edu.cn.
4
Department of Medicinal Chemistry, School of Pharmacy, Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang, 050017, PR China; Hebei Province Key Laboratory of Innovative Drug Research and Evaluation, Shijiazhuang, 050017, PR China. Electronic address: hmuwanglei@hebmu.edu.cn.

Abstract

A novel series of 6-substituted pyrrolo[2,3-d]pyrimidines with reversed amide moieties from the lead compound 1a were designed and synthesized as nonclassical antifolates and as potential antitumor agents. Target compounds 1-9 were successfully obtained through two sequential condensation reactions from the key intermediate 2-amino-6-(2-aminoethyl)-3,7-dihydro-4H-pyrrolo[2,3-d]pyrimidin-4-one. In preliminary antiproliferation assay, all compounds demonstrated submicromolar to nanomolar inhibitory effects against KB tumor cells, whereas compounds 1-3 also exhibited nanomolar antiproliferative activities toward SW620 and A549 cells. In particular, compounds 1-3 were significantly more potent than the positive control methotrexate (MTX) and pemetrexed (PMX) to A549 cells. The growth inhibition induced cell cycle arrest at G1-phase with S-phase suppression. Along with the results of nucleoside protection assays, inhibition assays of dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) clearly elucidated that the intracellular target of the designed compounds was DHFR. Molecular modeling studies suggested two binding modes of the target compounds with DHFR.

KEYWORDS:

Antifolates; Antiproliferation; DHFR; Molecular modeling; pyrrolo[2,3-d]pyrimidines

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