Development of nonsymmetrical 1,4-disubstituted anthraquinones that are potently active against cisplatin-resistant ovarian cancer cells

Klaus Pors, Jane A. Plumb, Robert Brown, Paul Teesdale-Spittle, Mark Searcey, Paul J. Smith, Laurence H. Patterson

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16 Citations (Scopus)


A novel series of 1,4-disubstituted aminoanthraquinones were prepared by ipso-displacement of 1,4-difluoro-5,8-dihydroxyanthraquinones by hydroxylated piperidinyl- or pyrrolidinylalkyl-amino side chains. One aminoanthraquinone (13) was further derivatized to a chloropropylamino analogue by treatment with triphenylphosphine-carbon tetrachloride. The compounds were evaluated in the A2780 ovarian cancer cell line and its cisplatin-resistant variants (A2780/cp70 and A2780/MCP1). The novel anthraquinones were shown to possess up to 5-fold increased potency against the cisplatin-resistant cells compared to the wild-type cells. Growth curve analysis of the hydroxyethylaminoanthraquinone 8 in the osteosarcoma cell line U-2 OS showed that the cell cycle is not frozen, rather there is a late cell cycle arrest consistent with the action of a DNA-damaging topoisomerase II inhibitor. Accumulative apoptotic events, using time lapse photography, indicate that 8 is capable of fully engaging cell cycle arrest pathways in G2 in the absence of early apoptotic commitment. 8 and its chloropropyl analogue 13 retained significant activity against human A2780/cp70 xenografted tumors in mice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6690-6695
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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