Synthesis and evaluation of novel functionalised indoles as anticancer agents

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Winfield, Hannah
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University College Cork
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This thesis outlines the design and application of new routes towards a range of novel bisindolylmaleimide and indolo[2,3-a]carbazole derivatives, and evaluation of their biological effects and their chemotherapeutic potential. A key part of this work focussed on utilising a hydroxymaleimide as a replacement for the prevalent lactam/maleimide functionality and forming a series of novel derivatives through substitution on the indole nitrogens. To achieve this, a robust synthetic strategy was developed which allowed access to key maleic anhydride intermediates using Perkin-type methodology. These hydroxymaleimides were further modified via a Lossen rearrangement to furnish a series of analogues containing a 6-membered F-ring. The theme of F-ring modulation was further expanded through the utilisation of a second route involving the design and synthesis of β-keto ester intermediates, which afforded novel derivatives containing pyrazolone and isocytosine headgroups, and various N-substituents. Work on a further route involving a dione intermediate resulted in the isolation of a bisindolyl derivative with a novel imidazole F-ring. Following the synthesis of 42 novel compounds, extensive screening was undertaken using the NCI-60 cell line screen, with twelve candidates progressing to evaluation via the five dose assay. This led to the identification of several lead compounds with high cytotoxicity and excellent selectivity profiles, which included derivatives with low nanomolar GI50 values against specific cancer cell lines, and also derivatives with selective cytotoxicity. Preliminary results from a kinase screen indicated noteworthy selectivity towards GSK3α/β and PIM1 kinases, with low micromolar IC50 values being observed for these enzymes.
Indolocarbazoles , Anticancer , Bisindolylmaleimides , Kinase inhibition , Heterocycles , Topoisomerase i
Winfield, H. 2015. Synthesis and evaluation of novel functionalised indoles as anticancer agents. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.