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Effects of Systematic Shortening of Noncovalent C8 Side Chain on the Cytotoxicity and NF-κB Inhibitory Capacity of Pyrrolobenzodiazepines (PBDs)

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Original languageEnglish
Article number8b01849
Pages (from-to)2127-2139
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number4
Early online date27 Nov 2018
E-pub ahead of print27 Nov 2018
Published28 Feb 2019


King's Authors


The systematic shortening of the noncovalent element of a C8-linked pyrrolobenzodiazepine (PBD) conjugate (13) led to the synthesis of a 19-member library of C8-PBD monomers. The critical elements of 13, which were required to render the molecule cytotoxic, were elucidated by an annexin V assay. The effects of shortening the noncovalent element of the molecule on transcription factor inhibitory capacity were also explored through an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay-based measurement of nuclear NF-κB upon exposure of JJN-3 cells to the synthesized molecules. Although shortening the noncovalent interactive element of 13 had a less than expected effect upon compound cytotoxicity due to reduced DNA interaction, the transcription factor inhibitory capacity of the molecule was notably altered. This study suggests that a relatively short noncovalent side chain at the C8 position of PBD is sufficient to confer cytotoxicity. The shortened PBD monomers provide a new ADC payload scaffold because of their potent cytotoxicity and drug-like properties.

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