Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 11716434
Anticancer Drug Des. 2000 Dec;15(6):413-21
Topoisomerase II represents the main target for the antitumour drugs etoposide and amsacrine, which are both used clinically. Previous studies have shown that the glycoside moiety of etoposide is not necessary for cytotoxicity or DNA topoisomerase II inhibition. For this reason, we designed two epipodophyllotoxin derivatives for which the dispensable sugar moiety of etoposide has been replaced by a m-methoxy-methane-sulfonamide-anilino group analogous to the topoisomerase II-targeted domain of amsacrine. We report the synthesis of the hybrid molecules that have the epipodophyllotoxin and anilino groups directly linked (ICP-114) or connected by an ethylene spacer (ICP-147). Plasmid DNA relaxation and kinetoplast DNA decatenation assays were used to evaluate the effects of the drug on the catalytic activity of human topoisomerase II. We found that the hybrid ICP-147 was significantly more potent than both etoposide and amsacrine at stimulating DNA cleavage by the enzyme, whereas the hybrid ICP-114 lacking the linker chain was less potent. ICP-147 produces approximately 3 times more double-stranded breaks than ICP-114, suggesting that an ethylene spacer between the epipodophyllotoxin and amsacrine moieties is highly effective at inhibiting topoisomerase II. Sequencing data also supported the idea that the two moieties of ICP-147 participate to the interaction with topoisomerase II-DNA covalent complexes. Both hybrid compounds are more cytotoxic than etoposide but much less toxic than amsacrine toward L1210 leukemia cells. In addition to its effect on topoisomerase II, ICP-114 can inhibit tubulin polymerization, whereas ICP-147 is almost totally inactive in this assay. The unexpected capacity of ICP-114 to interfere with the polymerization of tubulin suggests that this compound can target tubulin dimers, as it is the case with certain antitumor sulfonamides. The design of etoposide-amsacrine hybrids may thus represent an opportunity for the discovery of dual inhibitors that target both topoisomerase II and tubulin.