Synthesis of dihydronaphthalene analogues inspired by combretastatin A-4 and their biological evaluation as anticancer agents

Casey J. Maguire, Zhi Chen, Vani P. Mocharla, Madhavi Sriram, Tracy E. Strecker, Ernest Hamel, Heling Zhou, Ramona Lopez, Yifan Wang, Ralph P Mason, David J. Chaplin, Mary Lynn Trawick, Kevin G. Pinney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The natural products colchicine and combretastatin A-4 (CA4) have provided inspiration for the discovery and development of a wide array of derivatives and analogues that inhibit tubulin polymerization through a binding interaction at the colchicine site on β-tubulin. A water-soluble phosphate prodrug salt of CA4 (referred to as CA4P) has demonstrated the ability to selectively damage tumor-associated vasculature and ushered in a new class of developmental anticancer agents known as vascular disrupting agents (VDAs). Through a long-term program of structure activity relationship (SAR) driven inquiry, we discovered that the dihydronaphthalene molecular scaffold provided access to small-molecule inhibitors of tubulin polymerization. In particular, a dihydronaphthalene analogue bearing a pendant trimethoxy aryl ring (referred to as KGP03) and a similar aroyl ring (referred to as KGP413) were potent inhibitors of tubulin polymerization (IC50 = 1.0 and 1.2 μM, respectively) and displayed low nM cytotoxicity against human cancer cell lines. In order to enhance water-solubility for in vivo evaluation, the corresponding phosphate prodrug salts (KGP04 and KGP152, respectively) were synthesized. In a preliminary in vivo study in a SCID-BALB/c mouse model bearing the human breast tumor MDA-MB-231-luc, a 99% reduction in signal was observed with bioluminescence imaging (BLI) 4 h after IP administration of KGP152 (200 mg kg−1) indicating reduced tumor blood flow. In a separate study, disruption of tumor-associated blood flow in a Fischer rat bearing an A549-luc human lung tumor was observed by color Doppler ultrasound following administration of KGP04 (15 mg kg−1).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1649-1662
Number of pages14
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Organic Chemistry


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