Antineoplastic agents. 509. Synthesis of fluorcombstatin phosphate and related 3-halostilbenes

George Pettit, Mathew D. Minardi, Heidi J. Rosenberg, Ernest Hamel, Michael C. Bibby, Sandie W. Martin, M. Katherine Jung, Robin Pettit, Timothy J. Cuthbertson, Jean Chapuis

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48 Scopus citations


The present SAR study of combretastatin A-3 (3a) focused on replacement of the 3-hydroxyl group by a series of halogens. That approach with Z-stilbenes resulted in greatly enhanced (> 10-100-fold) cancer cell growth inhibition against a panel of human cancer cell lines and the murine P388 lymphocytic leukemia cell line. Synthesis of the 3-fluoro-Z-stilbene designated fluorcombstatin (11a) and its potassium 3′-O-phosphate derivative (16c) by the route 7 → 8a → 11a → 14 → 16c illustrates the general synthetic pathway. The 3′-O-phosphoric acid ester (15) of 3-bromo-Z-stilbene 13a was also converted to representative cation salts to evaluate the potential for improved aqueous solubility, and the potassium salt (16 mg/mL in water) proved most useful. The fluoro (11a), chloro (12a), and bromo (13a) halocombstatins were nearly equivalent to combretastatin A-4 (1a) as inhibitors of tubulin polymerization and of the binding of colchicine to tubulin. The tubulin binding in cell-free systems was also retained in human umbilical vein endothelial cells. All three halocombstatins retained the powerful human cancer cell line inhibitory activity of combretastatin A-4 (1a) and proved superior to combretastatin A-3 (3a). In addition, the halocombstatins targeted Gram-positive bacteria and Cryptococcus neoformans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1450-1458
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Natural Products
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Organic Chemistry


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