Synthesis, biochemical evaluation and rationalisation of the inhibitory activity of a range of phenyl alkyl imidazole-based compounds as potent inhibitors of the enzyme complex 17α-hydroxylase/17,20-lyase (P45017α)

Department of Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy and Chemistry, Kingston University, Penrhyn Road, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 2EE, UK.
The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (Impact Factor: 3.63). 07/2008; 111(1-2):117-27. DOI: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2008.05.007
Source: PubMed


The cytochrome P450 enzyme, 17alpha-hydroxylase/17,20-lyase (P450(17alpha)), is a potential target in hormone-dependent cancers. We report the synthesis, biochemical evaluation and rationalisation of the inhibitory activity of a number of azole-based compounds as inhibitors of the two components of P450(17alpha), i.e., 17alpha-hydroxylase (17alpha-OHase) and 17,20-lyase (lyase). The results suggest that the imidazole-based compounds are highly potent inhibitors of both components, with N-7-phenyl heptyl imidazole (21) (IC(50)=0.32 microM against 17alpha-OHase and IC(50)=0.10 microM against lyase) and N-8-phenyl octyl imidazole (23) (IC(50)=0.25 microM against 17alpha-OHase and IC(50)=0.21 microM against lyase) being the two most potent compounds within the current study, in comparison to ketoconazole (KTZ) (IC(50)=3.76 microM against 17alpha-OHase and IC(50)=1.66 microM against lyase). Furthermore, consideration of the inhibitory activity against the two components show that the compounds tested are less potent towards the 17alpha-OHase component, a desirable property in the development of novel inhibitors of P450(17alpha). Structure-activity relationship determination of the range of compounds synthesised suggests that logP (log of the partition coefficient) is a key physicochemical factor in determining the overall inhibitory activity. In an effort to determine the viability of these compounds becoming potential drug candidates as well as to show specificity of these compounds, we undertook the biochemical evaluation of the synthesised compounds against two isozymes of 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase [namely type 1 (17beta-HSD1) and type 3 (17beta-HSD3)] and 3beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3beta-HSD). Consideration of the inhibitory activity possessed by the compounds considered within the current study against 3beta-HSD, 17beta-HSD1 and 17beta-HSD3 shows that there is no clear structure-activity relationship and that the compounds appear to possess similar inhibitory activity against both 3beta-HSD and 17beta-HSD3 whilst against 17beta-HSD1, the compounds appear to possess poor inhibitory activity at [I]=100 microM. Indeed, two of the most potent inhibitors of P450(17alpha), (compounds 21 and 23), were found to possess relatively good levels of inhibition against the three enzymes-compound 21 was found to possess approximately 32%, approximately 21% and approximately 37% inhibition whilst compound 23 was found to possess approximately 38%, approximately 30% and approximately 28% inhibition against 3beta-HSD, 17beta-HSD1 and 17beta-HSD3 respectively. We therefore concluded that the azole-based compounds synthesised within the current study are not suitable for further consideration as potential drug candidates due to their lack of specificity.

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