Structure-based drug design and potent anti-cancer activity of tricyclic 5:7:5-fused diimidazo[4,5-d:4′,5′-f][1,3]diazepines

Atul Kondaskar, Shilpi Kondaskar, James C. Fishbein, Brandon A. Carter-Cooper, Rena G. Lapidus, Mariola Sadowska, Martin J. Edelman, Ramachandra S. Hosmane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Judicial structural modifications of 5:7-fused ring-expanded nucleosides (RENs), based on molecular modeling studies with one of its known targets, human RNA helicase (hDDX3), led to the lead, novel, 5:7-5-fused tricyclic heterocycle (1). The latter exhibited promising broad-spectrum in vitro anti-cancer activity against a number of cancer cell lines screened. This paper describes our systematic, albeit limited, structure-activity relationship (SAR) studies on this lead compound, which produced a number of analogs with broad-spectrum in vitro anti-cancer activities against lung, breast, prostate, and ovarian cancer cell lines, in particular compounds 15i, 15j, 15m and 15n which showed IC 50 values in submicromolar to micromolar range, and are worthy of further explorations. The SAR data also enabled us to propose a tentative SAR model for future SAR efforts for ultimate realization of optimally active and minimally toxic anti-cancer compounds based on the diimidazo[4,5-d:4′, 5′-f][1,3]diazepine structural skeleton of the lead compound 1.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)618-631
Number of pages14
JournalBioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2013


  • Anti-cancer activity
  • DDX3 as potential target
  • Diimidazo[4,5-d:4′, 5′-f][1,3]diazepines
  • In vitro screening
  • Lung, breast, prostate and ovarian cancers
  • Organic synthesis and medicinal chemistry
  • Structure-activity relationship (SAR) studies


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