N-Hydroxyethyl-4-aza-didehydropodophyllotoxin derivatives as potential antitumor agents

Ajay Kumar, Vineet Kumar, Antonio E. Alegria, Sanjay V. Malhotra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Three different series of N-hydroxyethyl aza-podophyllotoxin derivatives containing (i) a five-membered methylenedioxy ring (7a-f), (ii) a five-membered ring with no heteroatom (8a-f) or (iii) a six membered ethylenedioxy ring (9a-f) as ring A were synthesized using a convenient one-pot multi-component reaction. Further variation on ring E was done by decorating it with methoxy and hydroxy groups at different positions. Calculation of log P values of these compounds indicates them to be better soluble than corresponding non-hydroxy derivatives. These novel aza-podophyllotoxin derivatives were screened for their cytostatic and cytotoxic activities on National Cancer Institute's 60 human tumor cell lines to study the structure activity relationship. The overall anticancer activity of these compounds was in the order of 8a-f > 9a-f > 7a-f. Furthermore, the compounds having 3′-methoxy and 3′,4′, 5′-trimethoxy substitution at ring E were the most active within the series. The cytotoxicity of all the active compounds was low, while their antiproliferative (or cytostatic) activity was high, providing a wide therapeutic window for their potential application as anticancer drugs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-26
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Sep 18 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Anticancer
  • Antitumor
  • Azapodophyllotoxin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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