A series of marine natural products isolated from the sponge of Verongida have been intensively studied due to the presence of alkaloids with one, or more bromotyrosine residues. Many of these alkaloid metabolites show interesting bioactivity and cytotoxic properties in tumor cell lines. The natural product, 11-Deoxyfistularin-3 is cytotoxic against the estrogen dependant human breast carcinoma cell line MCF-7 (LD50 = 17 mg/L). Since breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, and the second leading cause of cancer death for women, biologically active natural products can serve as a structural template for the construction of more potent synthetic analogues as a non-surgical treatment for breast cancer. One of the interesting structural aspects of this natural product is the presence of two spirocyclic moieties. This research project has three main objectives. The first objective is to develop a synthetic methodology that can be applied toward the asymmetric total synthesis of the biologically active natural product, 11-deoxyfistularin-3. Secondly, we plan to construct synthetic analogues of the natural product to determine if a segment of the natural product can also display biological activity against MCF-7 cells. Our final objective is to determine if any of the MCF-7 active synthetic analogues and the natural product can effectively bind to estrogen receptors. The data generated from these binding assays will lead to theoretical docking studies of the ligand-receptor interactions of the biologically active compound and the estrogen receptor, and the generation of a structure-activity relationship profile of these compounds could potentially lead to synthetic analogues that are more potent than the natural product.
We are investigating a method to make potent compounds to target breast cancer which is the second leading cause of cancer death in women. The compounds that we are targeting are based upon a naturally occurring substance found in the ocean.
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