A new type of inhibitor of tubulin polymerization was discovered on the basis of the combretastatin molecular skeleton. The lead compounds in this series, compounds 6 and 7, strongly inhibited tubulin polymerization in vitro and significantly arrested cells at the G2/M phase. Compounds 6 and 7 yielded 50- to 100-fold lower IC50 values than did combretastatin A-4 against Colo 205, NUGC3, and HA22T human cancer cell lines as well as similar or greater growth inhibitory activities than did combretastain A-4 against DLD-1, HR, MCF-7, DU145, HONE-1, and MES-SA/DX5 human cancer cell lines. Structure-activity relationship information revealed that introduction of an amino group at the ortho position of the benzophenone ring plays an integral role for increased growth inhibition.
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