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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Cytotoxicity and antitumor activity of carzelesin, a prodrug cyclopropylpyrroloindole analogue.

The cyclopropylpyrroloindole analogues are DNA minor-groove binders containing a cyclopropyl group, which mediates N3-adenine covalent adduct formation in a sequence-selective fashion. Carzelesin (U-80244) is a cyclopropylpyrroloindole prodrug containing a relatively nonreactive chloromethyl precursor to the cyclopropyl function. Activation of carzelesin requires two steps, (a) hydrolysis of a phenylurethane substituent to form U-76073, followed by (b) ring closure to form the cyclopropyl-containing DNA-reactive U-76074. The formation of the DNA-reactive U-76074, via U-76073, from carzelesin was shown to proceed very slowly in phosphate-buffered saline (t1/2 greater than 24 h) but to occur rapidly in plasma from mouse, rat, dog, and human (initial t1/2 values ranging from 18 min for mouse to 52 min for rat) and in cell culture medium (t1/2 approximately 40 min). Although carzelesin was less potent in terms of in vitro cytotoxicity and in vivo optimal dosage and showed low affinity for binding to DNA, it was therapeutically more efficacious against mouse L1210 leukemia than was U-76074 or adozelesin (U-73975), another cyclopropylpyrroloindole analogue which is currently in phase I clinical trials. Carzelesin also proved to be more efficacious than U-76074 or adozelesin against mouse pancreatic ductal 02 adenocarcinoma, a system reported to be resistant to every agent tested. Carzelesin was highly effective against this tumor and produced 97% tumor growth inhibition. In addition, i.v. administered carzelesin showed significant activity (National Cancer Institute criteria) against i.v. or s.c. implanted Lewis lung carcinoma, i.p. or s.c. implanted B16 melanoma, s.c. implanted colon 38 carcinoma, and five s.c. implanted human tumor xenografts, including clear cell Caki-1 carcinoma, colon CX-1 adenocarcinoma, lung LX-1 tumor, ovarian 2780 carcinoma, and prostatic DU-145 carcinoma. Carzelesin treatment produced 100% complete remissions (no palpable tumor mass at the termination of the experiment) in mice bearing early-stage human ovarian 2780. Pharmacologically, carzelesin proved to be relatively schedule and route independent and was highly active against i.p. implanted L1210 leukemia, regardless of whether the analogue was given i.v., i.p., s.c., or p.o. These results, collectively, suggest that carzelesin is absorbed and distributed well. Both carzelesin and adozelesin caused marked tumor shrinkage in mice bearing human lung LX-1 or advanced-stage human ovarian 2780 carcinoma; however, tumor regrowth occurred shortly after the treatment with adozelesin was stopped. Little or no apparent tumor regrowth occurred after treatment with carzelesin.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)[1]


  1. Cytotoxicity and antitumor activity of carzelesin, a prodrug cyclopropylpyrroloindole analogue. Li, L.H., DeKoning, T.F., Kelly, R.C., Krueger, W.C., McGovren, J.P., Padbury, G.E., Petzold, G.L., Wallace, T.L., Ouding, R.J., Prairie, M.D. Cancer Res. (1992) [Pubmed]
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