Affiliation: Department of Chemistry, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA.
The duocarmycins and CC-1065 are members of a class of DNA minor groove, AT-sequence selective, and adenine-N3 alkylating agents, isolated from Streptomyces sp. that exhibit extremely potent cytotoxicity against the growth of cancer cells grown in culture. Initial synthesis and structural modification of the cyclopropa[c] pyrrolo[3,2-e]indole (CPI) DNA-alkylating motif as well as the indole non-covalent binding region in the 1980s have led to several compounds that entered clinical trials as potential anticancer drugs. However, due to significant systemic toxicity none of the analogs have passed clinical evaluation. As a result, the intensity in the design, synthesis, and development of novel analogs of the duocarmycins has continued. Accordingly, in this review, which covers a period from the 1990s through the present time, the design and synthesis of duocarmycin SA are described along with the synthesis of novel and highly cytotoxic analogs that lack the chiral center. Examples of achiral analogs of duocarmycin SA described in this review include seco-DUMSA (39 and 40), seco-amino-CBI-TMI (13, Centanamycin), and seco-hydroxy-CBI-TMI (14). In addition, another novel class of biologically active duocarmycin SA analogs that contained the seco-iso-cyclopropylfurano[2,3-e]indoline (seco-iso-CFI) and seco-cyclopropyltetrahydrofurano[2,3-f]quinoline (seco-CFQ) DNA alkylating submit was also designed and synthesized. The synthesis of seco-iso-CFI-TMI (10, Tafuramycin A) and seco-CFQ-TMI (11, Tafuramycin B) is included in this review.