New benzoxanthone derivatives as topoisomerase inhibitors and DNA cross-linkers

Hee Ju Cho, Mi Ja Jung, Sangwook Woo, Jungsook Kim, Eung Seok Lee, Youngjoo Kwon, Younghwa Na

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


We synthesized 12 benzoxanthone derivatives classified as three different groups based on the tetracyclic ring shapes and evaluated their pharmacological activities to find potential anticancer agents. In the cytotoxicity test, most compounds showed effective cancer cell growth inhibition against the HT29 and DU145 cell lines. Among the compounds tested, compound 19 was the most effective in the cancer cell lines tested. Compound 9 showed dual inhibitory activities against DNA relaxation by topoisomerases I and II. The% inhibition of compound 9 on topoisomerase I was comparable to that of camptothecin. Compound 9 efficiently blocked topoisomerase II function by almost threefold than etoposide at 20 μM. Compound 19 had selective topoisomerase II inhibitory activity at 100 μM. The DNA cross-linking test revealed that only compounds 8 and 19, which possess epoxy groups, cross-linked DNA duplex, while 14 did not. From the combined pharmacological results, we proposed that the target through which compound 19 inhibits cancer cell growth may be the DNA duplex itself and/or DNA-topoisomerase II complex.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1010-1017
Number of pages8
JournalBioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2010


  • Anticancer activities
  • DNA cross-linking
  • Oxiranylmethoxybenzoxanthones
  • Thiiranylmethoxybenzoxanthones
  • Topoisomerase inhibition


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