Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry: Synthesis and SAR of novel capsazepine analogs with significant anti-cancer effects in multiple cancer types
We previously demonstrated that capsazepine (CPZ), a synthetic transient receptor potential Vanilloid subtype 1 (TRPV1) antagonist, has significant anti-cancer effects in vivo. The purpose of this study was to develop more potent analogs based upon CPZ pharmacophore and structure-activity relationships (SAR) across analogs. We generated 30 novel compounds and screened for their anti-proliferative effects in cultured HeLa cervical cancer cells. Cell viability assays identified multiple compounds with IC50s < 15 μM and one compound, 29 with an IC50 < 5 μM; six-fold more potent than CPZ. We validated the anti-proliferative efficacy of two lead compounds, 17 and 29, in vivo using HeLa-derived xenografts in athymic nude mice. Both analogs significantly reduced tumor volumes by day 8 compared to control-treated animals (p < 0.001) with no observable adverse effects. Calcium imaging determined that compound 17 activates TRPV1 whereas 29 neither activate nor inhibits TRPV1; indicating a unique mechanism-of-action that does not involve TRPV1 signaling. Cell viability assays using a panel of additional tumor types including oral squamous cell carcinoma, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), breast cancer, and prostate cancer cell lines (HSC-3, H460, MDA-231, and PC-3 respectively) demonstrated that both lead compounds were efficacious against every cancer type tested. Compounds 29 displayed IC50s of 1–2.5 μM in HSC-3and PC-3cells. Thus, we propose that these novel CPZ analogs may serve as efficacious therapeutic agents against multiple tumor types that warrant further development for clinical application.