Structure-activity relationships of 2′-modified-4′- selenoarabinofuranosyl-pyrimidines as anticancer agents

Jin Hee Kim, Jinha Yu, Varughese Alexander, Jung Hee Choi, Jayoung Song, Hyuk Woo Lee, Hea Ok Kim, Jungwon Choi, Sang Kook Lee, Lak Shin Jeong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Based on the potent anticancer activity of the D-arabino-configured cytosine nucleoside ara-C, novel 2′-substituted-4′- selenoarabinofuranosyl pyrimidines 3a-3u, comprising azido, fluoro, and hydroxyl substituents at C-2′ were designed, synthesized, and evaluated for anticancer activity. The 2′-azido group was stereoselectively introduced by the Mitsunobu reaction using diphenylphosphoryl azide (DPPA), and the 2′-fluoro group was stereoselectively introduced through the double inversions of stereochemistry via the episelenium intermediate, which was formed by the participation of the selenium atom. Among the compounds tested, the 2′-fluoro derivative 3t (X = NH2, Y = H, R = F) was found to be the most potent anticancer agent and showed more potent anticancer activity than the control, ara-C in all tested human cancer cell lines (HCT116, A549, SNU638, T47D, and PC-3) except the leukemia cell lines (K562). The anticancer activity of the 2′-substituted-4′-selenonucleosides is in the following order: 2′-F > 2′-OH > 2′-N3.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-225
Number of pages18
JournalEuropean Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
StatePublished - 18 Aug 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the grants from Mid-career Research Program ( 2010-0026203 ) through the National Research Foundation, Korea and Seoul R&BD Program ( ST100039 ).


  • 4′-Selenonucleosides
  • Antimetabolite
  • Mitsunobu reaction
  • Stereoselective fluorination
  • Structure-activity relationship


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