The tumor-promoting teleocidins and their core structure (-)-indolactam-V (1) exist in two stable conformers in solution at room temperature. The cis amide assumes a twist conformation while the trans amide exists in a sofa form. In order to identify the biologically active conformation of the teleocidins, we have synthesized new twist-restricted analogues 5a and 6 based on an aza-Claisen rearrangement of (-)-N13-desmethyl-N13-allylindolactam-V (3) and a sofa-restricted analogue, (-)-5-methylindolactam-V (22). The activities of these new compounds were evaluated in three in vitro bioassays associated with in vivo tumor-promoting activity: binding to the protein kinase C regulatory domain, induction of the Epstein-Barr virus early antigen, and stimulation of radioactive inorganic phosphate incorporation into phospholipids of HeLa cells. These three biological activities correlated well for each derivative. Twist-restricted analogues 5a and 6 showed significant activities in the three assays, comparable to 1 itself. In contrast, sofa-restricted 22 showed little activity related to tumor promotion. Introduction of a prenyl group into position 7 or 18 of 5a and 6 significantly enhanced the activity while sofa-restricted (-)-5-prenylindolactam-V (23) showed only very weak activity. These results indicate that the active conformation of the teleocidins and 1 is close to the twist form. This is the first evidence bearing on the active conformation of the teleocidins based on conformationally restricted analogues with an intact indolactam skeleton and is in accord with conclusions reported for benzolactams, analogues without the pyrrole moiety. This study also describes the synthesis of new biologically active compounds (26a, 26b, 28) based on inactive (+)-epiindolactam-V (24), involving a further application of the aza-Claisen rearrangement. Bridge formation between positions 5 and 13 of indolactam derivatives represents a particularly effective analogue design strategy, allowing for the remote control of the conformation of this ring system and for the introduction of a wide range of structural variations, as required for the development of new protein kinase C activators with high isozyme selectivity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry