Synthesis of a 2-aryl-3-aroyl indole salt (OXi8007) resembling combretastatin A-4 with application as a vascular disrupting agent


The natural products colchicine and combretastatin A-4 are potent inhibitors of tubulin assembly, and they have inspired the design and synthesis of a large number of small-molecule, potential anticancer agents. The indole-based molecular scaffold is prominent among these SAR modifications, leading to a rapidly increasing number of agents. The water-soluble phosphate prodrug 33 (OXi8007) of 2-aryl-3-aroylindole-based phenol 8 (OXi8006) was prepared by chemical synthesis and found to be strongly cytotoxic against selected human cancer cell lines (GI50 = 36 nM against DU-145 cells, for example). The free phenol, 8 (OXi8006), was a strong inhibitor (IC 50 = 1.1 μM) of tubulin assembly. The corresponding phosphate prodrug 33 (OXi8007) also demonstrated pronounced interference with tumor vasculature in a preliminary in vivo study utilizing a SCID mouse model bearing an orthotopic PC-3 (prostate) tumor as imaged by color Doppler ultrasound. The combination of these results provides evidence that the indole-based phosphate prodrug 33 (OXi8007) functions as a vascular disrupting agent that may prove useful for the treatment of cancer. © 2013 The American Chemical Society and American Society of Pharmacognosy.

Publication Title

Journal of Natural Products