Synthesis and evaluation of novel ellipticines as potential anti-cancer agents

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O'Sullivan, Elaine Catriona
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University College Cork
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Ellipticine is a natural product which possesses multimodal anti-cancer activity. This thesis encompasses the synthesis and biological evaluation of novel ellipticine and isoellipticine derivatives as anti-cancer agents. Expanding on previous work within the group utilising vinylmagnesium bromide, derivatisation of the C5 position of ellipticine was accomplished by reaction of a key ketolactam intermediate with Grignard reagents. Corresponding attempts to introduce diverse substitution at the C11 position were unsuccessful, although one novel C11 derivative was produced using an alkyllithium reagent. A panel of novel ellipticinium salts encompassing a range of substitutions at the N2, C9 and N6 positions were prepared. Extensive derivatisation of the N10 position of isoellipticine was undertaken for the first time. Novel substitution in the form of acid and methyl ester functionalities were introduced at the C7 position of isoellipticine while novel C7 aldehyde and alcohol derivatives were synthesised. A large panel of isoellipticinium salts were prepared with conditions adjusted for the reactivity of the alkyl halide. Novel coupling reactions to increase the yield of isoellipticine were attempted but proved unsuccessful. A panel of 54 novel derivatives was prepared and a multimodal analysis of their anti-cancer activity was conducted. The NCI 60-human tumour cell lines screen was a primary source of information on the in vitro activity of compounds with derivatives found to exert potent anticancer effects, with mean GI50 values as low as 1.01 μM across the full range of cancer types and as low as 16 nM in individual cell lines. A second in vitro screen in collaboration with researchers in the University of Nantes identified derivatives which could potently inhibit growth in a p53 mutant NSCLC cell line. The cell cycle effects of a selected panel of isoellipticines were studied in leukaemia cell lines by researchers in the Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, UCC. Emerging from this, the therapeutic potential of one of the derivatives in AML was then assessed in vivo in an AML xenograft mouse model, with tumour weight reduced by a factor of 7 in treated mice relative to control.
Ellipticine , Isoellipticine , Anti-cancer , Medicinal chemistry , Drug discovery
O'Sullivan, E.C. 2016. Synthesis and evaluation of novel ellipticines as potential anti-cancer agents. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.
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