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J Med Chem. 1996 Aug 16;39(17):3319-23.

3- and 4-pyridylalkyl adamantanecarboxylates: inhibitors of human cytochrome P450(17 alpha) (17 alpha-hydroxylase/C17,20-lyase). Potential nonsteroidal agents for the treatment of prostatic cancer.

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Cancer Research Campaign Centre for Cancer Therapeutics, Cancer Research Campaign Laboratory, Sutton, Surrey, UK.


Various 3- and 4-pyridylalkyl 1-adamantanecarboxylates have been synthesized and tested for inhibitory activity toward the 17 alpha-hydroxylase and C17,20-lyase activities of human testicular cytochrome P450(17 alpha). The 4-pyridylalkyl esters were much more inhibitory than their 3-pyridylalkyl counterparts. The most potent was (S)-1-(4-pyridyl)ethyl 1-adamantanecarboxylate (3b; IC50 for lyase, 1.8 nM), whereas the (R)-enantiomer 3a was much less inhibitory (IC50 74 nM). Nearly as potent as 3b was the dimethylated counterpart, the 2-(4-pyridylpropan-2-yl) ester 5 (IC50 2.7 nM), which was also more resistant to degradation by esterases. In contrast to their 4-pyridyl analogs, the enantiomers of the 1-(3-pyridyl)ethyl ester were similarly inhibitory (IC50 for lyase; (R)-isomer 8a 150 nM, (S)-isomer 8b 230 nM). Amides corresponding to the 4-pyridylmethyl ester 1 and the (S)-1-(4-pyridyl)ethyl ester 3b, respectively 11 and 15b, were much less inhibitory than their ester counterparts. On the basis of a combination of inhibitory potency and resistance to esterases, the ester 5 was the best candidate for further development as a potential nonsteroidal inhibitor of cytochrome P450(17 alpha) for the treatment of prostate cancer.

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