Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
Structure-activity relationships OF N-methylthiolated beta-lactam antibiotics with C3 substitutions and their selective induction of apoptosis in human cancer cells
The development of novel anti-cancer drugs that induce apoptosis has long been a focus of drug discovery. Beta-lactam antibiotics have been used for over 60 years to fight bacterial infectious diseases with little or no side effects observed. Recently a new class of N-methylthiolated beta-lactams has been discovered that have potent activity against methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureas. Most recently, we determined the potential effects of these N-thiolated beta-lactams on tumorigenic cell growth and found that they are apoptosis-inducers in human cancer cell lines. In the current study, we further determined the effects of the substitution of the O-methyl moiety on C3 and stereochemistry of the beta-lactams on the anti-proliferative and apoptosis-inducing abilities. We have found that lactam 18, in which C3 is substituted with an acrylate ester group, is a very effective proliferation inhibitor against human premalignant and malignant breast, leukemic, and simian virus 40-transformed fibroblast cells. Generally speaking, increasing the size of the moiety on C3 decreases its anti-proliferation potency, possibly indicating steric hindrance with the cellular target or decreased permeability through the cell membrane. We also found that the stereochemistry of the beta-lactams plays an important role in their potency. The 3S,4R isomers are more effective than their enantiomers (3R,4S), suggesting that 3S,4R configuration is more favorable for target interaction.