Efficient synthesis and biological evaluation of proximicins A, B and C

Federico Brucoli, Antonino Natoli, Preethi Marimuthu, Maria Teresa Borrello, Paul Stapleton, Simon Gibbons, Andreas Schätzlein

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24 Citations (Scopus)


A quick and efficient synthesis and the biological evaluation of promising antitumor-antibiotics proximicins A, B and C are reported. The characteristic repetitive unit of these molecules, the methyl 4-Boc-aminofuran-2-carboxylate 15, was prepared in three synthetic steps in good yield using an optimised copper-catalysed amidation method. The proximicins were evaluated for their antitumor activity using cellular methods. Proximicin B induced apoptosis in both Hodgkin's lymphoma and T-cell leukemia cell lines and proximicin C exhibited significantly high cytotoxicity against glioblastoma and breast carcinoma cells. The proximicins were also screened against Escherichia coli, Enterococcus faecalis and several strains of methicillin-and multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Proximicin B showed noteworthy activity against antibiotic-resistant Gram-positive cocci.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2019-2024
Number of pages6
JournalBioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number6
Early online date4 Feb 2012
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2012


  • Antibiotics
  • Anticancer molecules
  • Copper-catalysed amidation
  • Distamycin and netropsin
  • DNA-minor groove binding agents

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