Procaspase Activating Compounds

  *US09643960B2*
  US009643960B2                                 
(12)United States Patent(10)Patent No.: US 9,643,960 B2
  et al. (45) Date of Patent:*May  9, 2017

(54)Procaspase activating compounds 
    
(75)Inventor: The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois,  Urbana, IL (US) 
(73)Assignee:The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois,  Urbana, IL (US), Type: US Company 
(*)Notice: Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this patent is extended or adjusted under 35 U.S.C. 154(b) by 0 days. 
  This patent is subject to a terminal disclaimer. 
(21)Appl. No.: 14/822,830 
(22)Filed: Aug.  10, 2015 
(65)Prior Publication Data 
 US 2015/0344452 A1 Dec.  3, 2015 
 Related U.S. Patent Documents 
(63) .
Continuation of application No. 14/321,514, filed on Jul.  1, 2014, now Pat. No. 9,102,661 , which is a continuation of application No. 13/148,350, now Pat. No. 8,778,945 .
 
(60)Provisional application No. 61/151,064, filed on Feb.  9, 2009.
 
Jan.  1, 2013 C 07 D 405 12 F I May  9, 2017 US B H C Jan.  1, 2013 A 61 K 31 445 L I May  9, 2017 US B H C Jan.  1, 2013 A 61 K 31 454 L I May  9, 2017 US B H C Jan.  1, 2013 C 07 D 211 34 L I May  9, 2017 US B H C Jan.  1, 2013 C 07 D 211 60 L I May  9, 2017 US B H C Jan.  1, 2013 C 07 D 211 62 L I May  9, 2017 US B H C Jan.  1, 2013 C 07 D 213 56 L I May  9, 2017 US B H C Jan.  1, 2013 C 07 D 295 15 L I May  9, 2017 US B H C Jan.  1, 2013 C 07 D 405 14 L I May  9, 2017 US B H C
(51)Int. Cl. C07D 295/155 (20060101); C07D 405/12 (20060101); C07D 211/34 (20060101); A61K 031/445 (20060101); A61K 031/454 (20060101); C07D 295/15 (20060101); C07D 405/14 (20060101); C07D 211/60 (20060101); C07D 211/62 (20060101); C07D 213/56 (20060101)

 
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       CN       101184491       A                5/2008      
       JP       2008545718       A                12/2008      
       WO       02083114       A1                10/2002      
       WO       2005044191       A2                5/2005      
       WO       2005090370       A1                9/2005      
       WO       2006128173       A2                11/2006      
       WO       2007008529       A2                1/2007      
       WO       2008134474       A2                11/2008      
       WO       WO 20/08134474       A2       *       11/2008      
       WO       2010091382       A1                8/2010      

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     * cited by examiner
 
     Primary Examiner —Noble Jarrell
     Assistant Examiner —John S Kenyon
     Art Unit — 1625
     Exemplary claim number — 1
 
(74)Attorney, Agent, or Firm — Haukaas Fortius PLLC; Michael H. Haukaas

(57)

Abstract

Compositions and methods are disclosed in embodiments relating to induction of cell death such as in cancer cells. Compounds and related methods for synthesis and use thereof, including the use of compounds in therapy for the treatment of cancer and selective induction of apoptosis in cells are disclosed. Compounds are disclosed that have lower neurotoxicity effects than other compounds.
21 Claims, 19 Drawing Sheets, and 20 Figures


RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/321,514, filed Jul. 1, 2014, issued as U.S. Pat. No. 9,102,661, which is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/148,350, filed Nov. 2, 2011, issued as U.S. Pat. No. 8,778,945, which application is the U.S. National Stage Application of International Application No. PCT/US2010/023543, filed Feb. 9, 2010, and this application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/151,064, filed Feb. 9, 2009, the specifications of which are incorporated herein by reference.

GOVERNMENT SUPPORT

[0002] This invention was made with government support under R01-CA120439 awarded by the National Institutes of Health, 1 T32 GM070421 awarded by the National Institutes of Health, and F31-CA13013801S1 awarded by the National Institutes of Health. The government has certain rights in the invention.

BACKGROUND

[0003] Apoptosis, or programmed cell death, plays a central role in the development and homeostasis of all multicellular organisms (Shi Y, 2002, Molecular Cell 9:459-470). A frequent hallmark of cancer is resistance to natural apoptotic signals. Depending on the cancer type, this resistance is typically due to up- or down-regulation of key proteins in the apoptotic cascade or to mutations in genes encoding these proteins. Such changes occur in both the intrinsic apoptotic pathway, which funnels through the mitochondria and caspase-9, and the extrinsic apoptotic pathway, which involves the action of death receptors and caspase-8. For example, alterations in proper levels of proteins such as p53, Bim, Bax, Apaf-1, FLIP and many others have been observed in cancers. The alterations can lead to a defective apoptotic cascade, one in which the upstream pro-apoptotic signal is not adequately transmitted to activate the executioner caspases, caspase-3 and caspase-7. FIG. 1 shows aspects of the apoptotic cascade.
[0004] As most apoptotic pathways ultimately involve the activation of procaspase-3, upstream genetic abnormalities are effectively “breaks” in the apoptotic circuitry, and as a result such cells proliferate atypically. Given the central role of apoptosis in cancer, efforts have been made to develop therapeutics that target specific proteins in the apoptotic cascade. For instance, peptidic or small molecule binders to cascade members such as p53 and proteins in the Bcl family or to the inhibitor of apoptosis (IAP) family of proteins have pro-apoptotic activity, as do compounds that promote the oligomerization of Apaf-1. However, because such compounds target early (or intermediate to high) positions on the apoptotic cascade, cancers with mutations in proteins downstream of those members can still be resistant to the possible beneficial effects of those compounds.
[0005] For therapeutic purposes it would be advantageous to identify a small molecule that directly activates a proapoptotic protein far downstream in the apoptotic cascade. The approach to our invention involves such a relatively low position in the cascade, thus enabling the killing of even those cells that have mutations in their upstream apoptotic machinery. Moreover, the therapeutic strategies disclosed herein can have a higher likelihood of success if that proapoptotic protein were upregulated in cancer cells. In the present invention, our efforts to identify small molecules began with targeting the significant downstream effector protein of apoptosis, procaspase-3.
[0006] The conversion or activation of procaspase-3 to caspase-3 results in the generation of the active “executioner” caspase form that subsequently catalyzes the hydrolysis of a multitude of protein substrates. Active caspase-3 is a homodimer of heterodimers and is produced by proteolysis of procaspase-3. In vivo, this proteolytic activation typically occurs through the action of caspase-8 or caspase-9. To ensure that the proenzyme or zymogen is not prematurely activated, procaspase-3 has a 12 amino acid “safety catch” that blocks access to the IETD site (amino acid sequence, ile-glu-thr-asp) of proteolysis. See Roy, S. et al.; Maintenance of caspase-3 proenzyme dormancy by an intrinsic “safety catch” regulatory tripeptide, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 98, 6132-6137 (2001).
[0007] This safety catch enables procaspase-3 to resist autocatalytic activation and proteolysis by caspase-9. Mutagenic studies indicate that three consecutive aspartic acid residues appear to be the critical components of the safety catch. The position of the safety catch is sensitive to pH; thus, upon cellular acidification (as occurs during apoptosis) the safety catch is thought to allow access to the site of proteolysis, and active caspase-3 can be produced either by the action of caspase-9 or through an autoactivation mechanism.
[0008] In particular cancers, the expression of procaspase-3 is upregulated. A study of primary isolates from 20 colon cancer patients revealed that on average, procaspase-3 was upregulated six-fold in such isolates relative to adjacent non-cancerous tissue (Roy et al., 2001). In addition, procaspase-3 is upregulated in certain neuroblastomas, lymphomas, and liver cancers (Nakagawara, A. et al., 1997, Cancer Res. 57:4578-4584; Izban, K. F. et al., Am. J. Pathol. 154:1439-1447; Persad, R. et al., Modern Patholo. 17:861-867). Furthermore, a systematic evaluation was performed of procaspase-3 levels in the 60 cell-line panel used for cancer screening by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Developmental Therapeutics Program. The evaluation revealed that certain lung, melanoma, renal, and breast cancers show greatly enhanced levels of procaspase-3 expression (Svingen, P. A. et al., Clin. Cancer Res. 10:6807-6820).
[0009] Due to the role of active caspase-3 in achieving apoptosis, the relatively high expression levels of procaspase-3 in certain cancerous cell types, and the intriguing safety catch-mediated suppression of its autoactivation, we reasoned that small molecules that directly modify procaspase-3 could be identified and that such molecules could have great applicability in targeted cancer therapy.
[0010] Herein we disclose, inter alia, compositions and methods including small molecules capable of inducing cell death. In embodiments, compositions and methods involve compounds which can interact directly or indirectly with programmed cell death pathway members such as procaspase-3. In embodiments, compositions and methods of the invention have reduced neurotoxicity as compared to other compounds which interact directly or indirectly with programmed cell death pathway members such as procaspase-3.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0011] The invention broadly provides compounds, compositions, and methods of therapeutic treatment. In embodiments, the inventions are applicable in the context of a variety of cancer diseases and cancer cell types such as breast, lymphoma, adrenal, renal, melanoma, leukemia, neuroblastoma, lung, brain, and others known in the art.
[0012] As a further introduction, compounds capable of activating an enzyme that is often overexpressed in its inactive form in cancer cells have been discovered. The compounds induce programmed cell death (apoptosis) in cancer cells, including those that have upregulated procaspase-3. Many cancers resist standard chemotherapy. Compounds of the invention can take advantage of a biological target that may be upregulated in cancer cells and thus can prove effective even in cells with defects in their apoptotic machinery. These compounds can also be successful in targeted cancer therapy, where there can be advantages of selectivity in the killing of cancer cells with comparably reduced adverse reactions to non-cancerous cells having lower levels of procaspase-3. These adverse reactions can include toxicity, particularly neurotoxicity.
[0013] Without wishing to be bound by a particular theory, it is believed that embodiments of compounds, compositions and methods of the invention may act via the mechanism of modulation of apoptosis or programmed cell death to be effective in the treatment of cancer cells. In a preferred embodiment, the modulation of apoptosis is by induction of apoptosis. In another embodiment, the modulation of apoptosis is by inhibition of apoptosis.
[0014] Provided are compounds having an N-acyl hydrazone zinc-chelating core with at least one polar group attached to a terminal phenyl ring. Also provided are compounds having an ortho-hydroxyl N-acyl hydrazone zinc-chelating core with at least one polar group attached to a terminal phenyl ring.
[0015] More specifically, provided are compounds having formula (FX1):
[0016]  [see pdf for image]
wherein
X1, X2, X3, X4, and X5 are each independently C or N, wherein when X1, X2, X3, X4, and X5 is N, the corresponding R10, R11, R12, R13, or R14 is absent;
one of R10, R11, R12, R13, R14, R3, R7, R8, or R9 contains a polar group selected from the group consisting of: a sulfonamide group, a nitro group, an amino group, a carboxylate group, a sulfonyl group, and an aryl sulfonyl group;
the others of R10, R11, R12, R13, R14, R3, R7, R8, or R9 are each independently selected from the group consisting of: hydrogen, halogen, a sulfonamide group, a nitro group, an amino group, a carboxylate group, a sulfonyl group, an aryl sulfonyl group, an alkoxy group, C1-C6 alkyl, C1-C6 alkoxy, and C2-C6 alkenyl; n and m are each independently integers from 1 to 3; R4 and R5 are each independently CH or N; A is O or S; R6 is hydrogen or C1-C6 alkyl; X is oxygen; and R2 is hydrogen, C1-C6 alkyl, or C1-C6 alkoxy.
[0017] Also provided is a compound having formula (FX11):
[0018]  [see pdf for image]
wherein
X1, X2, X3, X4, and X5 are each independently C or N, wherein when X1, X2, X3, X4, and X5 is N, the corresponding R10, R11, R12, R13, or R14 is absent;
one of R10, R11, R12, R13, and R14 contains a polar group selected from the group consisting of: a sulfonamide group, a nitro group, an amino group, a carboxylate group, a sulfonyl group, and an aryl sulfonyl group;
the others of R10, R11, R12, R13, and R14 are each independently selected from the group consisting of: H, halogen, a sulfonamide group, a nitro group, an amino group, a carboxylate group, a sulfonyl group, an aryl sulfonyl group, and an alkoxy group; n and m are each independently integers from 1 to 3; R4 and R5 are each independently CH or N; A is O or S; R6 is hydrogen or C1-C6 alkyl; R3, R7, R8, R9 are each independently selected from hydrogen, halogen, C1-C6 alkyl, C1-C6 alkoxy or C2-C6 alkenyl; X is oxygen; and R2 is hydrogen, C1-C6 alkyl, or C1-C6 alkoxy.
[0019] In an embodiment, R2X is —OH in any of the formulas and structures provided herein. In an embodiment, R3 is methoxy or allyl in any of the formulas and structures provided herein. In an embodiment, in Formula (FX1), one of R10, R11, R12, R13, R14, R3, R7, R8, or R9 is selected from the group consisting of: —NO2;

—COOH;

[0020]  [see pdf for image]
where Ra and Rb are each independently hydrogen, C1-C6 alkyl, and C1-C6 alkoxy; R18 and R19 are each independently selected from the group consisting of hydrogen and C1-C6 alkyl; and q is an integer from 0 to 3; and
[0021]  [see pdf for image]
where R16 and R17 are each independently selected from the group consisting of hydrogen and C1-C6 alkyl, and p is an integer from 0 to 3.
[0022] In an embodiment, in Formula (FX1) or (FX11), one of R10, R11 or R12 is selected from the group consisting of: —NO2;

—COOH;

[0023]  [see pdf for image]
where Ra and Rb are each independently hydrogen, C1-C6 alkyl, and C1-C6 alkoxy;
R18 and R19 are each independently selected from the group consisting of hydrogen and C1-C6 alkyl; and q is an integer from 0 to 3; and
[0024]  [see pdf for image]
where R16 and R17 are each independently selected from the group consisting of hydrogen and C1-C6 alkyl, and p is an integer from 0 to 3.
[0025] In an embodiment, in Formula (FX1), one of R10, R11, R12, R13, R14, R3, R7, R8, or R9 is
[0026]  [see pdf for image]
where Ra and Rb are each independently hydrogen, C1-C6 alkyl, and C1-C6 alkoxy;
R18 and R19 are each independently selected from the group consisting of hydrogen and C1-C6 alkyl; and q is an integer from 0 to 3.
[0027] In an embodiment, in Formula (FX1) or (FX11), one of R10, R11, R12, R13, or R14 is
[0028]  [see pdf for image]
where Ra and Rb are each independently hydrogen, C1-C6 alkyl, and C1-C6 alkoxy;
R18 and R19 are each independently selected from the group consisting of hydrogen and C1-C6 alkyl; and q is an integer from 0 to 3.
[0029] In an embodiment, in Formula (FX1) or (FX11), R12 is
[0030]  [see pdf for image]
where Ra and Rb are each independently hydrogen, C1-C6 alkyl, and C1-C6 alkoxy;
R18 and R19 are each independently selected from the group consisting of hydrogen and C1-C6 alkyl; and q is an integer from 0 to 3. In an embodiment, in R12, Ra and Rb are each hydrogen and q is 0.
[0031] In an embodiment, R3 is allyl, X is O and R2 is hydrogen. In an embodiment, R12 is —S(═O)2—NH2. In an embodiment, R11, R12 and R13 are methoxy. In an embodiment, R3 is allyl, X is O and R2 is hydrogen. In an embodiment, one or two of X1, X2, X3, X4, and X5 are N.
[0032] Also provided is a compound of Formula (FX1) or (FX11) having formula (FX2):
[0033]  [see pdf for image]
where the variables are as described elsewhere herein for Formulas (FX1) or (FX11).
[0034] Also provided is a compound of Formula (FX1) or (FX11) having formula (FX12):
[0035]  [see pdf for image]
where the variables are as described elsewhere herein for Formulas (FX1) or (FX11).
[0036] Also provided is a compound of Formula (FX1) or (FX11) having formula (FX3), (FX4), (FX5), or (FX6):
[0037]  [see pdf for image]
[0038] Also provided is a compound of Formula (FX1) or (FX11) having formula (FX7) or (FX8):
[0039]  [see pdf for image]
[0040] Also provided is a compound of Formula (FX1) or (FX11) which includes a fluorescent label. Also provided is a compound of Formula (FX1) or (FX11) having the structure (FX9):
[0041]  [see pdf for image]
[0042] Also provided in an embodiment is a method of selectively inducing apoptosis in a cancer cell, comprising administering to said cancer cell a compound capable of modifying a procaspase-3 molecule of said cancer cell; wherein said compound is the compound of Formula (FX1) or (FX11). Also provided in an embodiment is a method of selectively inducing apoptosis in a cancer cell, comprising administering to said cancer cell a compound capable of modifying a procaspase-3 molecule of said cancer cell; wherein said compound is the compound of Formula (FX1) or (FX11), and wherein said cancer cell is in a patient in need of treatment. Also provided in an embodiment is a method of treating a cancer cell, comprising (a) identifying a potential susceptibility to treatment of a cancer cell with a procaspase activator compound; and (b) exposing said cancer cell to an effective amount of the procaspase activator compound; wherein the procaspase activator compound is the compound of Formula (FX1) or (FX11). Also provided in an embodiment is a method of treating a cancer cell, comprising (a) identifying a potential susceptibility to treatment of a cancer cell with a procaspase activator compound; and (b) exposing said cancer cell to an effective amount of the procaspase activator compound; wherein the procaspase activator compound is the compound of Formula (FX1) or (FX11) wherein said procaspase activator compound is capable of activating at least one of procaspase-3 and procaspase-7. Also provided in an embodiment is a method of inducing death in a cancer cell, comprising administering to said cancer cell a compound capable of activating a procaspase-3 molecule of said cancer cell, wherein said compound is the compound of Formula (FX1) or (FX11). Also provided in an embodiment is a medicament comprising an effective amount of one or more compounds of Formula (FX1) or (FX11). Also provided in an embodiment is a method of making a medicament for treatment of a cancer cell which comprises one or more compounds of Formula (FX1) or (FX11). Also provided in an embodiment is a method of inducing apoptosis in a cell, comprising administering to said cell a compound of Formula (FX1) or (FX11). Also provided is a method as described herein wherein the procaspase activator compound has a log BB of −0.4 to −2. Also provided is a method as described herein wherein the compound of formula (FX1) or (FX11) has a log BB of −0.4 to −2. Also provided is a method as described herein wherein the compound does not cross the blood-brain barrier to such as extent to cause appreciable neurotoxic effects in a patient. Also provided is an ex vivo method comprising contacting a cell with an effective amount of a compound of Formula (FX1) or (FX11). Also provided is a method of treating a cell, the method comprising the step of contacting a cell with an effective amount of a compound of Formula (FX1) or (FX11). Also provided is a compound according to Formula (FX1) or (FX11) for use in therapy. Also provided is a compound according to Formula (FX1) or (FX11) or the treatment of cancer. Also provided is the use of a compound according to Formula (FX1) or (FX11) in the manufacture of a medicament for the treatment of cancer.
[0043] In an aspect, at least one substituent on the compounds of the invention is a polar group. In an embodiment, A is O. In an embodiment, both R4 and R5 are N. In an embodiment, m and n are both 1. In an embodiment, X1, X2, X3, X4, and X5 are all C. In an embodiment, R6 is H. In an embodiment, R7, R8 and R9 are all H. In an embodiment, R3 is allyl. In an embodiment, R10 and R14 are H and R11, R12 and R13 are each methoxy. In an embodiment, R2X is —OH. In an embodiment, R3 is methoxy. In an embodiment, one of R3, R7, R8 and R9 is methoxy. In an embodiment, two of R3, R7, R8 and R9 are methoxy. In an embodiment, three of R3, R7, R8 and R9 is methoxy. In an embodiment, one of R10, R11, R12, R13, and R14 is methoxy. In an embodiment, two of R10, R11, R12, R13, and R14 are methoxy. In an embodiment, R10 and R13 are methoxy. In an embodiment, three of R10, R11, R12, R13, and R14 are methoxy. In an embodiment, only one of R10, R11, R12, R13, and R14 is not hydrogen. In an embodiment, only one of R11, R12, R13, and R14 is not hydrogen. In an embodiment, R11 or R12 is not hydrogen.
[0044] In an aspect of the invention, a compound of any of the formulas described and shown herein is labeled with a fluorescent label. The use of a fluorescent label with the compounds and methods of the invention allows tracking the compound in a desired system, determination of the concentration of the compound, and has other uses, as known in the art. The identity, use, synthesis, and choice of a particular fluorescent label is within the level of skill of one of ordinary skill in the art. In a particular embodiment, the fluorescent label is Alexa Fluor 350. Other fluorescent labels are intended to be included and disclosed here as if they were individually listed.
[0045] In an aspect of the invention, compounds of the invention do not cross the blood-brain barrier in a sufficient amount to cause an amount of neurotoxicity that would require termination of treatment or other adverse effects. In an aspect of the invention, compounds of the invention have a log BB of −0.4 to −2, for example.
[0046] In an aspect of the invention, compounds of the invention induce cell death in cancer cells. In embodiments of this aspect of the invention, compounds of the invention induce cell death in lymphoma, leukemia, melanoma, cervical and breast cancer cells.
[0047] As used herein, a “polar group” comprises at least one bond that is at least partially polar as the term is used in the art. A polar group contains at least one bond with a dipole moment. A “polar group” as used herein may include a polar group as a part of an overall chemical “group” as the term is used in the art.
[0048] As used herein, a sulfonamide group has the structure:
[0049]  [see pdf for image]
where Ra and Rb are each independently hydrogen, C1-C6 alkyl, and C1-C6 alkoxy; R18 and R19 are each independently selected from the group consisting of hydrogen and C1-C6 alkyl; and q is an integer from 0 to 6. In an embodiment, Ra and Rb are each hydrogen.
[0050] As used herein, a sulfonyl group contains the structure: —SO2—. In an embodiment, the sulfonyl group is a part of an aryl sulfonyl group having the structure:
[0051]  [see pdf for image]
where R16 and R17 are each independently selected from the group consisting of hydrogen and C1-C6 alkyl, where the aryl group may be optionally substituted with one or more heteroatoms in the ring and may be optionally substituted with one or more halogen atoms, nitro groups, C1-C6 alkyl groups, and C1-C6 alkoxy groups and p is an integer from 0 to 6. A sulfonyl group may be terminated by any suitable substituent such as hydrogen or C1-C6 alkyl.
[0052] As used herein, allyl refers to the alkenyl group —CH2—CH═CH2.
[0053] As used herein, a nitro group contains the structure: —NO2. In an embodiment, a nitro group may be the terminal group of an alkylnitro group, where one to 6 optionally substituted methylene groups precede the nitro functional group. As used herein, a carboxylate group contains the structure: —COOH. In an embodiment, the carboxylate group is terminated by a C1-C6 alkyl group instead of hydrogen.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

[0054] FIG. 1 shows some aspects of small molecule activation of procaspase-3.
[0055] FIG. 2 shows PAC-1 selectively kills a variety of cancer cells.
[0056] FIG. 3 shows PAC-1 retardation of tumor growth in mouse xenograft models of cancer.
[0057] FIG. 4 shows PAC-1 retardation of tumor growth in mice.
[0058] FIG. 5 shows PAC-1 Relieves Zn2+ Inhibition of Procaspase-3. As assessed by the cleavage of the Ac-DEVD-pNA substrate, the ability of zinc to inhibit the procaspase-3(D9A/D28A/D175A) mutant (D3A, 2.5 μM) activity in vitro is reduced in the presence of PAC-1 (50 μM). Data shown is representative of three trials.
[0059] FIG. 6 shows PAC-1 enhances the procaspase-3(D9A/D28A/D175A) (D3A) mutant activity when assayed in a buffer containing 10 μM ZnSO4.
[0060] FIG. 7 shows PAC-1-I-8 enhances the procaspase-3(D9A/D28A/D175A) (D3A) mutant activity when assayed in a buffer containing 10 μM ZnSO4.
[0061] FIG. 8 shows titration of ZnSO4 into a solution of PAC-1 (50 μM in 50 mM Hepes, 100 mM KNO3, pH 7.2 buffer) causes a change in the UV-visible spectra of PAC-1. Shown are ZnSO4 concentrations of 0 to 75 μM in 5 μM increments.
[0062] FIG. 9 shows analysis of the PAC-1-Zn2+ binding interaction and stoichiometry by the continuous variations method. Based on the location of the peak value, the stoichiometry was determined to be 1:1, and the Kd was determined to be 42 nM, Error bars represent standard deviation from the mean.
[0063] FIG. 10 shows a titration of ZnSO4 into a solution of PAC-1-I-8 (50 μM in 50 mM Hepes, 100 mM KNO3, pH 7.2 buffer) does not cause a change in the UV-visible spectra of PAC-1-I-8.
[0064] FIG. 11 shows percent cell death by varying concentrations of PAC-1-II-7.
[0065] FIG. 12 shows percent cell death by varying concentrations of PAC-1-IV-3.
[0066] FIG. 13 shows Zinc Binding of PAC-1-II-6.
[0067] FIG. 14 shows results of a confocal microscopy study.
[0068] FIG. 15 shows the lowest energy conformer of the PAC-1-Zn2+ complex.
[0069] FIG. 16 shows in vitro characterization of S-PAC-1. A) Structures of PAC-1 and S-PAC-1. B) The formation curve of the Zn2+:S-PAC-1 complex. S-PAC-1 binds zinc with a Kd of 46±5 nM. C) S-PAC-1 activates procaspase-3 D3A in vitro. A 10 μM concentration of uncleavable procaspase-3 (D3A) was incubated in the presence of 15 μM exogenous zinc. Addition of 50 μM S-PAC-1 results in a rapid increase in activity during the first five minutes followed by a slow increase over the subsequent 60 minutes. D) S-PAC-1 induces apoptosis in U-937 cells. U-937 cells were incubated with 50 μM S-PAC-1 for 12 hours and analyzed by annexin V/PI staining.
[0070] FIG. 17 shows characteristics of S-PAC-1. A) Pharmacokinetics of S-PAC-1 administered i.p. in mice. C57/BL6 mice were treated with 125 mg/kg of S-PAC-1 solubilized in 2-hydroxypropyl-b-cyclodextrin via i.p. administration. Mice were sacrificed at various times and blood was drawn. The concentration of S-PAC-1 in the serum was determined by LC. 125 mg/kg S-PAC-1 has a peak plasma concentration of ˜170 μM and a half life of ˜1 hour. B) Pharmacokinetics of single-dose S-PAC-1 in research hound dogs. Four hound dogs were administered a single intravenous dose of S-PAC-1 (25 mg/kg in 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin), blood was drawn at various times, and S-PAC-1 concentration from serum was determined by LC. S-PAC-1 has a peak plasma concentration of ˜150 μM and a half-life of ˜3 hours in dogs. C) Three healthy hound dogs were administered a continuous infusion of S-PAC-1. Dogs received an initial loading dose over the course of 10 minutes followed by a constant rate infusion over the next 24 hours. Blood was drawn at various time points and S-PAC-1 concentration in the plasma was determined by LC analysis. Continuous infusion of S-PAC-1 was well-tolerated and successful in establishing a steady state serum concentration of S-PAC-1 in dogs.
[0071] FIG. 18 shows pharmacokinetics of S-PAC-1 in lymphoma bearing dogs. Dogs enrolled in the clinical trial were administered S-PAC-1 at 7 mg/kg loading dose and 3 mg/kg/hr constant rate infusion for either 24 (A-C) or 72 (D-E) hours. Blood was drawn at various time points and the serum concentration of S-PAC-1 was determined by LC analysis.
[0072] FIG. 19 shows anti-tumor effect of S-PAC-1 treatment. Top) RECIST scores for patient 1 over the course of 7 weeks. Arrows indicate treatment days. During the course of treatment patient 1 experienced a 27% decrease in RECIST score. After treatment ended, tumor size increased rapidly (day 42). Bottom) CT scans of the mandibular lymph nodes (outlined) indicate a significant decrease in tumor size prior to treatment (day 0) and one week after S-PAC-1 administration (Day 7).
[0073] FIG. 20 shows a representative EGTA fluorescence titration assay data where S-PAC-1-Zn: KD=46±5 nM.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0074] In general, the terms and phrases used herein have their art-recognized meaning, which can be found by reference to standard texts, journal references and contexts known to those skilled in the art.
[0075] The following abbreviations are applicable. IAP, inhibitor of apoptosis; PAC-1, procaspase activating compound 1; PARP, Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase.
[0076] The definitions are provided to clarify their specific use in the context of the invention.
[0077] When used herein, the term “chemotherapeutic agent” refers to any substance capable of reducing or preventing the growth, proliferation, or spread of a cancer cell, a population of cancer cells, tumor, or other malignant tissue. The term is intended also to encompass any antitumor or anticancer agent.
[0078] When used herein, the term “effective amount” is intended to encompass contexts such as a pharmaceutically effective amount or therapeutically effective amount. For example, in embodiments the amount is capable of achieving a beneficial state, beneficial outcome, functional activity in a screening assay, or improvement of a clinical condition.
[0079] When used herein, the term “cancer cell” is intended to encompass definitions as broadly understood in the art. In an embodiment, the term refers to an abnormally regulated cell that can contribute to a clinical condition of cancer in a human or animal. In an embodiment, the term can refer to a cultured cell line or a cell within or derived from a human or animal body. A cancer cell can be of a wide variety of differentiated cell, tissue, or organ types as is understood in the art.
[0080] The term “alkyl” refers to a monoradical branched or unbranched saturated hydrocarbon chain preferably having from 1 to 22 carbon atoms and to cycloalkyl groups having one or more rings having 3 to 22 carbon atoms. Short alkyl groups are those having 1 to 6 carbon atoms including methyl, ethyl, propyl, butyl, pentyl and hexyl groups, including all isomers thereof. Long alkyl groups are those having 8-22 carbon atoms and preferably those having 12-22 carbon atoms as well as those having 12-20 and those having 16-18 carbon atoms.
[0081] The term “cycloalkyl” refers to cyclic alkyl groups of from 3 to 22 carbon atoms having a single cyclic ring or multiple condensed rings. Cycloalkyl groups include those having 3-8 member rings and those having 5 and 6 member rings. Cycloalkyl groups include, by way of example, single ring structures such as cyclopropyl, cyclobutyl, cyclopentyl, cyclohexyl, cyclooctyl, and the like, or multiple ring structures such as adamantanyl, and the like.
[0082] The term “alkenyl” refers to a monoradical of a branched or unbranched unsaturated hydrocarbon group preferably having from 2 to 22 carbon atoms and to cycloalkenyl groups having one or more rings having 3 to 22 carbon atoms wherein at least one ring contains a double bond. Alkenyl groups may contain one or more double bonds (C═C) which may be conjugated. Preferred alkenyl groups are those having 1 or 2 double bonds. Short alkenyl groups are those having 2 to 6 carbon atoms including ethylene (vinyl), propylene, butylene, pentylene and hexylene groups, including all isomers thereof. Long alkenyl groups are those having 8-22 carbon atoms and preferably those having 12-22 carbon atoms as well as those having 12-20 carbon atoms and those having 16-18 carbon atoms. The term “cycloalkenyl” refers to cyclic alkenyl groups of from 3 to 22 carbon atoms having a single cyclic ring or multiple condensed rings in which at least one ring contains a double bond (C═C). Cycloalkenyl groups include, by way of example, single ring structures such as cyclopropenyl, cyclobutenyl, cyclopentenyl, cyclooctenyl, cylcooctadienyl and cyclooctatrienyl. The term allyl refers to the alkenyl group —CH2—CH═CH2.
[0083] The term “alkynyl” refers to a monoradical of an unsaturated hydrocarbon preferably having from 2 to 22 carbon atoms and having one or more triple bonds (C≡C). Alkynyl groups include ethynyl, propargyl, and the like. Short alkynyl groups are those having 2 to 6 carbon atoms, including all isomers thereof. Long alkynyl groups are those having 8-22 carbon atoms and preferably those having 12-22 carbon atoms as well as those having 12-20 carbon atoms and those having 16-18 carbon atoms.
[0084] The term “aryl” refers to a group containing an unsaturated aromatic carbocyclic group of from 6 to 22 carbon atoms having a single ring (e.g., phenyl), one or more rings (e.g., biphenyl) or multiple condensed (fused) rings, wherein at least one ring is aromatic (e.g., naphthyl, dihydrophenanthrenyl, fluorenyl, or anthryl). Aryls include phenyl, naphthyl and the like. Aryl groups may contain portions that are alkyl, alkenyl or alkynyl in addition to the unsaturated aromatic ring(s). The term “alkaryl” refers to the aryl groups containing alkyl portions, i.e., -alkylene-aryl and -substituted alkylene-aryly. Such alkaryl groups are exemplified by benzyl (—CH2-phenyl), phenethyl and the like.
[0085] Alkyl, alkenyl, alkynyl and aryl groups are optionally substituted as described herein (the term(s) can include substituted variations) and may contain 1-8 non-hydrogen substituents dependent upon the number of carbon atoms in the group and the degree of unsaturation of the group. All such variable as described herein can be unsubstituted (in which any variables groups that can be hydrogen are hydrogen) or substituted with one or more non-hydrogen substituents selected from halogen, including fluorine, chlorine, bromine or iodine, C1-C3 haloalkyl, hydroxyl (OH), thiol (HS—), C1-C6 alkyl, C1-C3 alkyl, C1-C6 alkoxy, C1-C3 alkoxy, phenyl, benzyl, alkenyl, C2-C4 alkenyl, alkynyl, C2-C4 alkynyl, —NH2, —NR′H, —NR′R″, R′CO—, R′R″NCO—, R′CO—NH—, or R′CO—NR′—, where R′ and R″ are C1-C6 alkyl, C1-C3 alkyl or phenyl.
[0086] The term “amino group” refers to the group —NH2 or to the group —NR′R″ where each R′ and R″ is independently selected from the group consisting of hydrogen, alkyl or aryl groups.
[0087] An alkoxy group is an alkyl group that has been modified by linkage to oxygen and can be represented by the formula R—O and may also be referred to as an alkyl ether group. Examples of alkoxy groups include, but are not limited to, methoxy, ethoxy, propoxy, butoxy and heptoxy. Alkoxy groups include substituted alkoxy groups wherein the alkyl portion of the groups is substituted as provided herein in connection with the description of alkyl groups. As used herein MeO— refers to CH3O—.
[0088] “Haloalkyl” refers to alkyl as defined herein substituted by one or more halo groups as defined herein, which may be the same or different. Representative haloalkyl groups include, by way of example, trifluoromethyl, 3-fluorododecyl, 12,12,12-trifluorododecyl, 2-bromooctyl, 3-bromo-6-chloroheptyl, and the like.
[0089] The term “halo” or “halogen” refers to a halogen group such as a fluoro (—F), chloro (—Cl), bromo (—Br), iodo (—I) or astato (—At).
[0090] The term “heteroaryl” refers to an aromatic group of from 2 to 22 carbon atoms having 1 to 4 heteroatoms selected from oxygen, nitrogen and sulfur within at least one ring (if there is more than one ring). Heteroaryl groups may be optionally substituted. Heteroaryl groups include among others those having 5 and 6-member rings and those having one or two nitrogens in the ring, those having one or two oxygens in the ring as well as those having one or two sulfurs in the ring.
[0091] The term “heterocycle” or “heterocyclic” refers to a monoradical saturated or unsaturated group having a single ring or multiple condensed rings, from 2-22 carbon atoms and from 1 to 6 hetero atoms, preferably 1 to 4 heteroatoms, selected from nitrogen, sulfur, phosphorus, and/or oxygen within at least one ring. Heterocyclic groups may be substituted. Rings preferably have 3-10 members and more specifically have 5 or 6 members.
[0092] The term “ester” refers to chemical entities as understood in the art and in particular can include groups of the form (RCO—).
[0093] As to any of the above groups which contain one or more substituents, it is understood, that such groups do not contain any substitution or substitution patterns which are sterically impractical and/or synthetically non-feasible. The compounds of this invention include all novel stereochemical isomers arising from the substitution of disclosed compounds.
[0094] As is customary and well known in the art, hydrogen atoms in the formulas described herein are not always explicitly shown, for example, hydrogen atoms bonded to the carbon atoms of aromatic and alicyclic rings are not always explicitly shown in formulas. The structures provided herein, for example in the context of the description of the formulas, are intended to convey to one of reasonable skill in the art the chemical composition of compounds of the methods and compositions of the invention, and as will be understood by one of skill in the art, the structures provided do not indicate the specific bond angles between atoms of these compounds.
[0095] It must be noted that as used herein and in the appended claims, the singular forms “a”, “an”, and “the” include plural reference unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. Thus, for example, reference to “a cell” includes a plurality of such cells and equivalents thereof known to those skilled in the art, and so forth. As well, the terms “a” (or “an”), “one or more” and “at least one” can be used interchangeably herein. It is also to be noted that the terms “comprising”, “including”, and “having” can be used interchangeably. The expression “of any of claims XX-YY” (wherein XX and YY refer to claim numbers) is intended to provide a multiple dependent claim in the alternative form, and in some embodiments is interchangeable with the expression “as in any one of claims XX-YY.”
[0096] Unless defined otherwise, all technical and scientific terms used herein have the same meanings as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which this invention belongs. Although any methods and materials similar or equivalent to those described herein can be used in the practice or testing of the invention, the preferred methods and materials are now described. Nothing herein is to be construed as an admission that the invention is not entitled to antedate such disclosure by virtue of prior invention.
[0097] In some embodiments, a liposome or micelle may be utilized as a carrier or vehicle for the composition.
[0098] Every formulation or combination of components described or exemplified herein can be used to practice the invention, unless otherwise stated.
[0099] The present compositions, preparations and formulations can be formulated into diagnostic or therapeutic compositions for enteral, parenteral, topical, aerosol, inhalation, or cutaneous administration. Topical or cutaneous delivery of the compositions, preparations and formulations may also include aerosol formulation, creams, gels, solutions, etc. The present compositions, preparations and formulations are administered in doses effective to achieve the desired diagnostic and/or therapeutic effect. Such doses may vary widely depending upon the particular compositions employed in the composition, the organs or tissues to be examined, the equipment employed in the clinical procedure, the efficacy of the treatment achieved, and the like. These compositions, preparations and formulations contain an effective amount of the composition(s), along with conventional pharmaceutical carriers and excipients appropriate for the type of administration contemplated. These compositions, preparations and formulations may also optionally include stabilizing agents and skin penetration enhancing agents. A “patient” or “subject”, used equivalently herein, refers to an animal. In particular, an animal refers to a mammal, preferably a human. The subject may either: (1) have a condition diagnosable, preventable and/or treatable by administration of a compound or composition of the invention; or (2) is susceptible to a condition that is diagnosable, preventable and/or treatable by administering a compound or composition of this invention.
[0100] In an embodiment, a composition of the invention is a chemotherapeutic agent.
[0101] In an embodiment, the invention provides compounds and methods involving effective concentrations preferably from about 10 nM to about 100 μM of the disclosed structural formulas. In another preferred embodiment, the effective concentrations are from about 200 nM to about 5 μM. In an embodiment, the effective concentration is considered to be a value such as a 50% activity concentration in a direct procaspase activation assay, in a cell apoptosis induction assay, or in an animal clinical therapeutic assessment. In a preferred embodiment, such value is less than about 200 μM. In a preferred embodiment, the value is less than about 10 μM.
[0102] Compounds of the invention and compounds useful in the methods of this invention include those of the disclosed formulas and salts and esters of those compounds, including preferably pharmaceutically-acceptable salts and esters.
[0103] In an embodiment, the invention provides prodrug forms of compositions. Prodrugs of the compounds of the invention are useful in the methods of this invention. Any compound that will be converted in vivo to provide a biologically, pharmaceutically or therapeutically active form of a compound of the invention is a prodrug. Various examples and forms of prodrugs are well known in the art. A biomolecule such as a precursor protein or precursor nucleic acid can be a prodrug. Examples of prodrugs are found, inter alia, in Design of Prodrugs, edited by H. Bundgaard, (Elsevier, 1985), Methods in Enzymology, Vol. 42, at pp. 309-396, edited by K. Widder, et. al. (Academic Press, 1985); A Textbook of Drug Design and Development, edited by Krosgaard-Larsen and H. Bundgaard, Chapter 5, “Design and Application of Prodrugs,” by H. Bundgaard, at pp. 113-191, 1991); H. Bundgaard, Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, Vol. 8, p. 1-38 (1992); H. Bundgaard, et al., Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Vol. 77, p. 285 (1988); and Nogrady (1985) Medicinal Chemistry A Biochemical Approach, Oxford University Press, New York, pages 388-392).
[0104] In an embodiment, a composition of the invention is in a form that is isolated or purified.
[0105] It is recognized that regardless of the ultimate correctness of any mechanistic explanation or hypothesis believed or disclosed herein, an embodiment of the invention can nonetheless be operative and useful.
[0106] When a group of substituents is disclosed herein, it is understood that all individual members of that group and all subgroups, including any isomers and enantiomers of the group members, are disclosed separately. When a Markush group or other grouping is used herein, all individual members of the group and all combinations and subcombinations possible of the group are intended to be individually included in the disclosure. It is intended that any one or more members of any Markush group or listing provided in the specification can be excluded from the invention if desired. When a compound is described herein such that a particular isomer or enantiomer of the compound is not specified, for example, in a formula or in a chemical name, that description is intended to include each isomers and enantiomer of the compound described individual or in any combination. Additionally, unless otherwise specified, all isotopic variants of compounds disclosed herein are intended to be encompassed by the disclosure. For example, it will be understood that any one or more hydrogens in a molecule disclosed can be replaced with deuterium or tritium. Isotopic variants of a molecule are generally useful as standards in assays for the molecule and in chemical and biological research related to the molecule or its use. Specific names of compounds are intended to be exemplary, as it is known that one of ordinary skill in the art can name the same compounds differently.
[0107] Molecules disclosed herein may contain one or more ionizable groups [groups from which a proton can be removed (e.g., —OH, —COOH, etc.) or added (e.g., amines) or which can be quaternized (e.g., amines)]. All possible ionic forms of such molecules and salts thereof are intended to be included individually in the disclosure herein. With regard to salts of the compounds herein, one of ordinary skill in the art can select from among a wide variety of available counterions those that are appropriate for preparation of salts of this invention for a given application. For example, in general any anions can be employed in the formation of salts of compounds herein; e.g. halide, sulfate, carboxylate, acetate, phosphate, nitrate, trifluoroacetate, glycolate, pyruvate, oxalate, malate, succinate, fumarate, tartarate, citrate, benzoate, methanesulfonate, ethanesulfonate, p-toluenesulfonate, salicylate and others.
[0108] Compounds of the present invention, and salts or esters thereof, may exist in their tautomeric form, in which hydrogen atoms are transposed to other parts of the molecules and the chemical bonds between the atoms of the molecules are consequently rearranged. It should be understood that all tautomeric forms, insofar as they may exist, are included within the invention. Additionally, the compounds may have trans and cis isomers and may contain one or more chiral centers, therefore existing in enantiomeric and diastereomeric forms. The invention can encompass all such isomers, individual enantiomers, as well as mixtures of cis and trans isomers, mixtures of diastereomers; non-racemic and racemic mixtures of enantiomers (optical isomers); and the foregoing mixtures enriched for one or more forms; except as stated otherwise herein. When no specific mention is made of the configuration (cis, trans or R or S) of a compound (or of an asymmetric carbon), then any one of the isomers or a mixture of more than one isomer is intended. The processes for preparation can use racemates, enantiomers, or diastereomers as starting materials. When enantiomeric or diastereomeric products are prepared, they can be separated by conventional methods, for example, by chromatographic or fractional crystallization. The inventive compounds may be in the free or hydrate form.
[0109] Every formulation or combination of components described or exemplified herein can be used to practice the invention, unless otherwise stated.
[0110] Whenever a range is described in the present application, for example, a temperature range, a time range, a log BB, or a composition or concentration range, all intermediate ranges and subranges, as well as all individual values included in the ranges given are intended to be included in the disclosure.
[0111] Information in any references disclosed herein can in some cases indicate the state of the art, for example for patent documents as of their effective filing dates; it is intended that such information can be employed herein, if needed, to exclude specific embodiments that are actually found to be in the prior art. For example, when a compound is disclosed and/or claimed, it should be understood that compounds qualifying as prior art with regard to the present invention, including compounds for which an enabling disclosure is provided in the references, are not intended to be included in the composition of matter claims herein.
[0112] Some references provided herein are incorporated by reference to provide details concerning sources of starting materials, additional starting materials, additional reagents, additional methods of synthesis, additional methods of analysis, and additional uses of the invention. One of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that starting materials, reagents, solid substrates, synthetic methods, purification methods, and analytical methods other than those specifically exemplified can be employed in the practice of the invention based on knowledge in the art and without resort to undue experimentation.
[0113] The invention may be further understood by the following non-limiting examples.

Example 1

PAC-1 and Personalized Anticancer Therapy

[0114] As discussed further herein, apoptosis is a type of programmed cell death common in multicellular organisms. Evasion of apoptosis is a hallmark of cancer and many cancers are resistant to natural apoptotic signals. This resistance is most often due to the aberrant expression and mutation of upstream apoptotic proteins which prevent the proper transmission of proapoptotic signals to downstream cysteine-aspartic acid proteases, the caspases. Ultimately, the activation of the executioner caspase-3 is the key committed step in most apoptotic pathways. Surprisingly, procaspase-3 is upregulated in many cancers but alterations in the upstream apoptotic cascade prevent it from being activated.
[0115] A number of proapoptotic compounds have been developed to target apoptotic proteins upstream of caspase-3. However, the aforementioned roadblocks often prevent these compounds from having their desired proapoptotic effect in cancerous cells. A personalized and more effective anticancer strategy involves the direct activation of proapoptotic proteins downstream of any roadblocks in the cascade. FIG. 1 shows some aspects of small molecule activation of procaspase-3.
[0116] We have reported PAC-1 as a small molecule that directly activates procaspase-3 to caspase-3 in vitro and in many cancer cell lines, inducing apoptosis in cancerous cells (Nat. Chem. Biol. 2006, 2, 543-550). PAC-1 has also shown efficacy in multiple mouse models of cancers.
[0117] Mutations and aberrant expression of upstream apoptotic proteins prevent pro-apoptotic signals from reaching downstream effector caspases. The key executioner, procaspase-3 is upregulated in many cancers. Much effort has been expended in the goal of a small molecule capable of directly activating procaspase-3. Some of this effort is described here as a further background for the present invention.

Scheme 1 Shows an Exemplary High Throughput Screening for Procaspase-3 Activator.

[0118]  [see pdf for image]
[0119] ˜20,000 compounds were screened with a chromogenic substrate for their ability to activate procaspase-3 to active caspase-3. PAC-1 was identified as a compound capable of activating procaspase-3 in a dose dependent manner. PAC-1-I-8 is a structurally related compound that shows no activity.
[0120]  [see pdf for image]
[0121] FIG. 2 shows that PAC-1 Selectively Kills Cancer Cells. PAC-1 induces death in cells isolated from freshly resected colon tumors. Freshly resected primary colon tumors (together with adjacent noncancerous tissue) were obtained from 23 people, the cancerous and noncancerous tissue were separated. PAC-1 induces cell death in a manner proportional to the cellular concentration of procaspase-3. The circles represent the primary cancerous cells from the 23 colon tumors. The black triangles represent a variety of cancer cell lines. The diamonds are four noncancerous cell types: Hs888Lu (lung fibroblast cells), MCF-10A (breast fibroblast cells), Hs578Bst (breast epithelial cells) and white blood cells isolated from the bone marrow of a healthy donor. The squares are the primary noncancerous cells isolated from the tumor margins of the 23 people.
[0122] FIGS. 3 and 4 show PAC-1 retardation of tumor growth in mouse xenograft models of cancer. (Putt, et al. Nat. Chem. Biol. 2006, 2, 543-550.) For FIG. 3, tumors were formed in mice using the NCI-H226 (lung cancer) cell line by subcutaneous injection, with eight mice in each group and three tumors per mouse. PAC-1 or vehicle was administered once a day by oral gavage on days 1-21. Error bars are s.e.m. For FIG. 4, Mice were injected with the NCI-H226 cell line. The mice were treated with PAC-1 (100 mg kg-1) via oral gavage following the protocol described in (Putt, et al. Nat. Chem. Biol. 2006, 2, 543-550.). The lungs of control mice have a large amount of gray tumor mass, whereas the mice that received PAC-1 have almost no visible tumor.
[0123] Zinc ions are known to inhibit procaspase-3. PAC-1 is able to activate procaspase-3 in the presence of zinc in a dose-dependent manner and shift the IC50 of zinc inhibition. PAC-1-I-8 is not able to activate procaspase-3, but shows inhibition at high concentrations. FIGS. 5, 6 and 7 show PAC-1 relieves Zn2+ Inhibition of Procaspase-3. The effect of a range of concentrations of zinc on caspase-3 and procaspase-3 enzymatic activity was examined. All buffers were first treated with Chelex® resin to remove any trace metal contaminants. As procaspase-3 will slowly autoproteolyze itself to active caspase-3; created the triple mutant of procaspase-3 in which all three caspase cleavage sites have been removed (D9A/D28A/D175A) was created. Consistent with data in the literature, this procaspase-3 triple mutant is proteolytically stable and has activity ˜200-fold less than that of caspase-3 (data not shown). Enzyme assays in the presence of zinc indicate that this metal powerfully inhibits caspase-3 (data not shown), procaspase-3 (data not shown), and the procaspase-3(D9A/D28A/D175A) mutant (FIG. 5). FIG. 6 shows PAC-1 enhances the procaspase-3(D9A/D28A/D175A) (D3A) mutant activity when assayed in a buffer containing 10 μM ZnSO4. As shown, PAC-1 actually inhibits these three enzymes at high compound concentrations. Data shown is representative of three trials. FIG. 7 shows PAC-1-I-8 enhances the procaspase-3(D9A/D28A/D175A) (D3A) mutant activity when assayed in a buffer containing 10 μM ZnSO4. PAC-1-I-8 actually inhibits this enzyme at high compound concentrations even in the absence of ZnSO4.
[0124] FIGS. 8, 9 and 10 show PAC-1 is a metal chelator. In the presence of zinc, PAC-1 shows a characteristic increase in absorbance at 405 nm. The inactive derivative does not show any change in absorbance even at high concentrations of zinc. Using this absorbance shift the binding constant for the PAC-1:Zn2+ complex can be determined by the continuous variation method. As shown in FIG. 8, titration of PAC-1 with increasing amounts of ZnSO4 results in a change in the UV-visible spectrum of this compound. This shift in molar absorptivity upon Zn2+ binding provides a convenient method to determine both the stoichiometry of PAC-1-Zn2+ binding and the dissociation constant of this interaction. A modified version of the method of continuous variations was used for this determination. The absorbance at 410 nm was acquired for various mole fractions of ZnSO4 and PAC-1 with a total concentration of 50 μM. These values were then normalized versus the maximal absorbance possible at the stoichiometric point (i.e., when all of the Zn2+ is bound by excess PAC-1), which was set as 1. Application of the continuous variations method revealed that PAC-1 binds Zn2+ in a 1:1 stoichiometry, as evidenced by the peak at 0.5 mol fraction in the graph in FIG. 9. Also apparent from FIG. 9 is the very strong nature of this small molecule-metal interaction. At the 1:1 stoichiometry, PAC-1 has almost entirely shifted its absorption to the zinc-bound state (96% of PAC-1 is Zn2+ bound at a 1:1 ratio of PAC-1-Zn2+). Using this 96% value and the equation log Ka=0.3010−log M+log ymax−2 log (1−ymax), we obtain a Kd=42 nM for the PAC-1−Zn2+ interaction. While the Kd for the PAC-1−Zn2+ interaction is 42 nM, as shown in FIG. 8, an absorbance change is still observed with micromolar concentrations of zinc. This is due to the high concentration of total ligand (50 μM) in this experiment relative to the Kd. Based on the concentrations of zinc and PAC-1 utilized in this experiment, the Adair equation predicts a half maximal population average site occupancy for the PAC-1-Zn2+ complex at ˜30 μM zinc, consistent with the data obtained (FIG. 8). Titration of ZnSO4 into PAC-1-I-8 gave no spectral change as monitored by UV-vis spectroscopy, consistent with the notion that PAC-1-8 does not bind Zn2+. To confirm this result, a second method was used to determine the PAC-1-Zn2+ dissociation constant. In this experiment, a preformed complex of PAC-1 and Zn2+ was titrated with EGTA [ethylene glycol bis(β-aminoethyl ether) N,N′-tetraacetic acid, a metal binder with a known affinity for Zn2+], and the absorbance at 410 nm was monitored. Using the literature value for the EGTA-Zn2+ association constant, we calculated the PAC-1-Zn2+ dissociation constant as 55 nM, in general agreement with Kd of 42 nM calculated through the method of continuous variations. FIG. 10 shows titration of ZnSO4 into a solution of PAC-1-I-8 (50 μM in 50 mM Hepes, 100 mM KNO3, pH 7.2 buffer) does not cause a change in the UV-visible spectra of PAC-1-I-8. Shown are ZnSO4 concentrations of 0 to 70 μM in 5 μM increments.

Example 2

Syntheses of PAC-1 and Derivatives

[0125] Molecular modeling resulted in the lowest energy conformer of the PAC-1-Zn2+ complex shown in FIG. 15. This structure was obtained from a conformational search out of 23 low-energy conformers using MMFF force field. The model suggests interaction with the N-acyl hydrazone backbone, the phenolic hydroxyl and a cation-pi interaction with the benzyl ring.
[0126] A family of structurally modified PAC-1 derivatives was synthesized to investigate these structural components and their role in zinc binding and the cytotoxic potential of this family of compounds.
[0127] Four classes of derivatives were synthesized to investigate the phenolic position (class I), the benzyl group (class II), the combination of these rings (class III) and the N-acyl hydrazone backbone (class IV). These classes are shown above in Scheme 2.
[0128]  [see pdf for image]
[0129] Additional information about these compounds and classes is found in: Peterson, et al., J. Med. Chem. 2009, 52, 5721-5731. The majority of the Class I-Ill compounds were synthesized as shown in Scheme 3A, via condensation of the appropriate hydrazides and aldehydes. As shown in Scheme 3A, yields for this condensation were between 72 and 95%, the exception being 1 g, which spontaneously forms a disulfide dimer, resulting in a diminished yield. Through such condensation reactions, 11 Class I derivatives (1a-k), 7 Class II derivatives (2a-g), and 1 Class III derivative (3) were synthesized. The hydrazide building blocks in Scheme 1 were synthesized through the reaction of various benzyl chlorides with piperazine, alkylation of the resulting products with ethyl chloroacetate, followed by reaction of the resulting ester with hydrazine. The aldehyde building blocks were either purchased or synthesized from simple starting materials. Three Class IV derivatives could also be synthesized through analogous condensation reactions. Thus, compounds lacking one of two piperazine nitrogens (4a-c) were synthesized from the corresponding hydrazides and aldehyde as shown in Scheme 3, eqs 1 and 2. However, a number of the derivatives in Class IV could not be synthesized via analogous condensation reactions and required alternative synthetic routes. Thus, compound 4d was synthesized by reduction of the hydrazone in PAC-1 using NaCNBH3 (Scheme 4A, eq 3). Compounds 4e-g were synthesized through the reaction of 27 with the appropriate chloride (Scheme 4A, eqs 4-6). These classes probe the electronics of these ring systems as well as the coordinating heteroatoms involved in the complex.
[0130]  [see pdf for image]
[0131] With substituent alternation at both rings, class I-III PAC-1 derivatives were synthesized with the same route as shown in Scheme 3A:
[0132] 
[00001] [TABLE-US-00001]
 
[see pdf for image]
 
[see pdf for image]
 
  Hydrazide   Aldehyde   Product   Yield
 
 5. R1, R2, R3, R4 = H, X1, X2, X3 = C13. R5 = OH, R6 = Allyl, R7 = H   1    95%
 5. R1, R2, R3, R4 = H, X1, X2, X3 = C14. R5 = OH, R6, R7 = H   1a   72%
 5. R1, R2, R3, R4 = H, X1, X2, X3 = C15. R5 = MeS, R6, R7 = H   1b   88%
 5. R1, R2, R3, R4 = H, X1, X2, X3 = C16. R5 = NH2, R6, R7 = H   1c   78%
 5. R1, R2, R3, R4 = H, X1, X2, X3 = C17. R5 = COOH, R6, R7 = H   1d   79%
 5. R1, R2, R3, R4 = H, X1, X2, X3 = C18. R5 = CO2Me, R6, R7 = H   1e   72%
 5. R1, R2, R3, R4 = H, X1, X2, X3 = C19. R5 = Cl, R6, R7 = H   1f   94%
 5. R1, R2, R3, R4 = H, X1, X2, X3 = C20. R5 = SH, R6, R7 = H   1g   18%
 5. R1, R2, R3, R4 = H, X1, X2, X3 = C21. R5, R6, R7 = H   1h   75%
 5. R1, R2, R3, R4 = H, X1, X2, X3 = C22. R5 = OH, R6 = Allyl, R7 = Allyl   1j   93%
 5. R1, R2, R3, R4 = H, X1, X2, X3 = C23. R5 = OMe, R6 = Allyl, R7 = H   1k   85%
 6. R1, R2, R3, R4 = H, X1 = N, X2, X3 = C13. R5 = OH, R6 = Allyl, R7 = H   2a   83%
 7. R1, R2, R3, R4 = H, X1 = C, X2 = N, X3 = C13. R5 = OH, R6 = Allyl, R7 = H   2b   88%
 8. R1, R2, R3, R4 = H, X1, X2 = C, X3 = N13. R5 = OH, R6 = Allyl, R7 = H   2c   90%
 9. R1, R2 = H, R3 = F, R4 = OMe, X1, X2, X3 = C13. R5 = OH, R6 = Allyl, R7 = H   2d29
10. R1 = OMe, R2, R3 = H, R4 = OMe, X1, X2, X3 = C13. R5 = OH, R6 = Allyl, R7 = H   2e   80%
11. R1, R2 = H, R3 = OMe, R4 = H, X1, X2, X3 = C13. R5 = OH, R6 = Allyl, R7 = H   2f   81%
12. R1 = H, R2 = NO2, R3, R4 = H, X1, X2, X3 = C13. R5 = OH, R6 = Allyl, R7 = H   2g   74%
10. R1 = OMe, R2, R3 = H, R4 = OMe, X1, X2, X3 = C14. R5 = OH, R6, R7 = H   3    82%
 

Scheme 3A. Note the “R” variables are provided for this scheme and the usage is not necessarily the same as in the remainder of the disclosure. All such variations throughout the disclosure are easily understood by one of ordinary skill in the art.
[0133] Class IV compounds were synthesized with slight modification as shown below.
[0134]  [see pdf for image]
[0135] Some additional class IV compounds were synthesized using the method shown in Scheme 4A.
[0136]  [see pdf for image] [see pdf for image]
[0137] Synthetic methods for the four classes of compounds are provided here. Materials—All reagents were obtained from Fisher unless otherwise indicated. All buffers were made with MilliQ purified water. Ac-DEVD-pNA was synthesized. Luria broth (LB) was obtained from EMD. Etoposide was obtained from Sigma. Caspase Activity Buffer contains 50 mM Hepes (pH 7.4), 300 mM NaCl and is Chelex® treated. Ni NTA binding buffer contains 50 mM Tris (pH 8.0), 300 mM NaCl, and 10 mM imidazole. Ni NTA Wash Buffer contains 50 mM Tris (pH 8.0), 300 mM NaCl, and 20 mM imidazole. Ni NTA Elution Buffer contains 50 mM Tris (pH 8.0), 300 mM NaCl, and 500 mM imidazole. Annexin V Binding Buffers contains 10 mM HEPES pH 7.4, 140 mM NaCl, 2.5 mM CaCl2, 0.1% BSA. The C-terminal 6×His-tagged procaspase-3 proteins were expressed as described below.
[0138] Cell Culture—U937 human lymphoma cells and SK-Mel-5 human melanoma cells were obtained from ATCC. Cells were cultured in RPMI 1640 growth media supplemented with 10% FBS and 1% pen-strep. Cells were incubated at 37° C. and 5% CO2. Subculture of SK-Mel-5 cells was achieved through trypsinization of the cell monolayer using 0.05% Trysin-EDTA (Gibco) dilution and further culture in RPMI 1640 growth media supplemented with FBS and pen-strep as above.
[0139] Cell Death Assay—U937 human lymphoma cells were plated into the wells of 96 well plate at a density of 5000 cells per well in 200 μL of RPMI 1640 growth media with 10% FBS and 1% pen-strep. To each well was added 2 μL of 100× compound stock solutions in DMSO at varying concentrations so that the cells were treated with concentrations between 0 μM and 100 μM compound. Each concentration was tested in quintuplicate. In each plate 5 wells received 10 μM etoposide as a positive control and 5 wells received 2 μL of DMSO as a negative control. The plates were then incubated at 37° C. and 5% CO2 for 72 hours. After the 72 hour incubation period, the plates were analyzed using a Sulforhodamine B assay as previously described. 1 Specifically, to each well of the plate was added 50 μL of an 80% (w/v) solution of TCA in H2O and the plates were allowed to rest at 4° C. overnight. The plates were then washed gently with a steam of H2O five times to remove the excess TCA and precipitated serum proteins. The plates were then allowed to air dry after which 100 μL of a 0.057% (w/v) Sulforhodamine B in a 1% (v/v) acetic acid solution was added to each well and allowed to stain for 30 minutes at room temperature. After staining, the wells were gently washed 5 times with 100 μL of 1% (v/v) acetic acid to remove the unbound dye. The plates were then allowed to air dry. 200 μL of 10 mM Tris base (pH 10.5) was then added to each well and the plates were placed on an orbital shaker for five minutes. The OD was then read at 510 nm in a Molecular Dynamics plate reader and the percent cell death calculated and normalized to the positive control (100% cell death) and the negative control (0% cell death). The percent cell death was averaged for each compound concentration and plotted as a function of compound concentration. The data were fit to a logistical dose response curve using Table curve 2D and the IC50 value was calculated. The experiment was repeated three times and the average of the calculated IC50 values was reported. The standard error of the mean (SEM) was determined and reported for the triplicate experiments. The individual dose-response curves are not shown.
[0140] Recombinant expression and purification of procaspase-3/caspase-3-Procaspase-3 and caspase-3 were recombinantly expressed and purified exactly as previously described. Briefly, procaspase-3 and caspase-3 were expressed from the pHC332 expression plasmid in the electrocompetent BL21(DE3) strain of Escherichia coli (Novagen). The C-terminally 6×His-tagged protein was purified using the Ni NTA resin (Qiagen). Protein containing fractions were collected and pooled. The purified protein was then further purified to remove any contaminating zinc by applying the protein to a PD-10 column (GE Healthcare) charged with Caspase Activity Buffer that had been treated with Chelex® resin. The resulting zinc free, protein containing fractions in Caspase Activity Buffer were pooled, the concentration determined, and the protein solution was flash-frozen in liquid nitrogen and stored at −80° C.
[0141] Caspase-3 Activity Assays—Zinc-free stocks (2×) of caspase-3 (1 μM) were prepared in Caspase Activity Buffer. Compound stock solutions were made (2×) at various concentrations from 200 μM to 200 nM in Caspase Activity Buffer. A stock (10×) of ZnSO4 (25 μM) in Caspase Activity Buffer was prepared. To each well of 384 well plate was added 20 μL of caspase-3 (500 nM final), 20 μL compound stock, and 5 μL of ZnSO4 (2.5 μM final) or buffer. Each plate contained positive control wells (0 μM zinc and no compound) and negative control wells (2.5 μM zinc and no compound). The plates were incubated at room temperature for 30 minutes. Then, to each well of the plate was added 5 μL of a 2 mM stock of Ac-DEVD-pNA substrate and the absorbance at 405 nm was immediately monitored every 1 minute for 30 minutes on a spectramax plate reader (Molecular Devices, Sunny Vale, Calif.). The slope of each well was used to determine the activity and was normalized to the positive and negative control wells to give a percent activity. The data for each compound concentration (4 wells) was averaged and the percent activity was plotted as a function of compound concentration. The data was analyzed using Table Curve 2D and fitted to a logistical dose-response curve. The majority of compounds achieved a maximal activity at 10 μM. The percent activity at 10 μM was determined for each compound and reported as an average of the three replicate experiments with the corresponding SEM. The individual dose-response curves are not shown.
[0142] EGTA Fluorescence Titration Assay—This titration assay is based on a published protocol. Before titration, cuvette was filled with EDTA (10 mM) for 10 min, followed by sterile deionized water and acetone washing for removing any residue metal ions. PAC-1 or derivative (60 μM) was added to a cuvette containing buffer (Hepes: 50 mM, KNO3: 100 mM, pH 7.2) with EGTA (7.3 mM) to achieve a 10-fold dilution (final PAC-1 concentration: 6 μM). Zn(OTf)2 (0-10 mM) was added incrementally. The formation of Zn-PAC-1 (or derivative) complex was monitored by the increase in fluorescence intensity (ex/em: 410 nm/475 nm). Fluorescence intensity at 475 nm was plotted against free Zn concentration ([Zn]f/M) calculated using MaxChelator program. The data was analyzed using KaleidaGraph and fitted to a formation curve based on Eq S1 derived by published protocol.
          I=(IminKD+Imax[Zn]f)/(KD+[Zn]f)
where Imin and Imax were defined as the fluorescence intensity of the free probe (PAC-1 or derivative in this case) and that of the Zn-probe complex respectively.
[0143] Immunofluorescent Staining—Round 18 mm no. 1 borosilicate coverglass (VWR) were coated with poly-lysine by shaking the coverglass in a poly-lysine solution (Sigma) for 1 hour and then washing with MilliQ. SK-Mel-5 human melanoma cells were grown on the poly-lysine coated coverglass in the bottom of a 12 well plate. When Cells achieved ˜80% confluency, the cells were treated with either DMSO or 100 μM PAC-1 in DMSO (total DMSO<1%) for 1 hour. The cells were then washed two times with 1 mL of PBS and fixed in 3.7% formaldehyde in PBS for 10-15 minutes at room temperature. The cells were then washed again two times with PBS and then permeabilized with 0.1% Triton X-100 in PBS for 5 minutes. The cells were then blocked in 3% BSA in PBS for 10 minutes and incubated with a 1:500 rabbit anti-procaspase-3 antibody for 1 hour. The coverglass was then washed 5 times with PBS and incubated with a 1:1000 dilution of the secondary anti-rabbit Alexafluor 647 conjugated antibody for 20 minutes protected from light. The coverglass was again washed 5 times with PBS and once with MilliQ H2O. The coverglass were then mounted on glass slides using Fluorosave (Calbiochem) and stored in the dark until imaging. Cells were imaged on a Leica SP2 Multiphoton Confocal microscope.
[0144] Live Cell Imaging—SK-Mel-5 cells were grown on the bottom of no. 1 borosilicate growth chambers (Nunc) to a confluency of −80%. Cells were then treated with DMSO, 25 μM FAM-DEVD-fmk in DMSO, 25 μM AF350-PAC-1 in DMSO, or both 25 μM FAM-DEVD-fmk and 25 μM AF350-PAC-1 concurrently for 1 hour at 37° C. and 5% CO2. Cells were then washed 5 times with RPMI 1640 growth media lacking phenol red. The cells were then allowed to further incubate at 37° C. for 2 hours before imaging. For cells stained with SYBR green for nuclear staining, a 1:100,000 dilution of SYBR green in media was added immediately prior to imaging. Cells were imaged on a Leica SP2 Multiphoton Confocal microscope.
[0145] Image Analysis—Images were adjusted in brightness and contrast to allow for clarity. For in the images, the red channel was adjusted using Image J to reflect a linear intensity gradient between 10 and 28. For the green channel, the images were adjusted to a linear intensity gradient between 0 and 44. To account for the offset of the microscope optics, the red channel was manually offset by 5 pixels in the x direction and the green channel was manually offset by 6 pixels in the y direction. The images were filtered with a Gaussian blur with a radius of 1 pixel to improve the signal to noise ratio. Using the Image J plug in, JACoP, the % overlap was determined using the Manders overlap coefficient.
[0146] Induction of Apoptosis by PAC-1 derivatives—U937 Cells (1 mL of 1×106 cells/mL) were treated with 5 μL ethanol stocks of the various compounds to achieve a final concentration of 50 μM. The cells were incubated at 37° C. for 12 hours. The cells were centrifuged (200 g for 5 min), washed with PBS (2 mL), resuspended in 500 μL Annexin V Binding Buffer. To each sample was added 10 μL of FITC conjugated Annexin V stain (Southern Biotech) and 10 μL of propidium iodide (Sigma) to a final concentration of 50 μg/mL. Cell populations were analyzed on a Benton Dickinson LSR II cell flow cytometer.

Materials and Methods

General

[0147] All reactions requiring anhydrous conditions were conducted under a positive atmosphere of nitrogen or argon in oven-dried glassware. Standard syringe techniques were used for anhydrous addition of liquids. Dry tetrahydrofuran was obtained by passing over activated alumina columns or molecular sieves in a commercial solvent purification system (Innovative Technologies). Unless otherwise noted, all starting materials, solvents, and reagents were acquired from commercial suppliers and used without further purification. Flash chromatography was performed using 230-400 mesh silica gel. Hydrazide 5, PAC-1, 1a, 1h, 3-allylsalicylaldehyde, 2-mercaptobenzaldehyde, 23, 30, 44 were prepared according to the literature method with modifications.

Compound Analysis

[0148] All NMR experiments were recorded either in CDCl3 (Sigma), CD3OD (sigma) or Acetone-d6 (Sigma) on a Varian Unity 400 MHz or 500 MHz spectrometer with residual undeuterated solvent as the internal reference. Chemical shift, δ (ppm); coupling constants, J (Hz); multiplicity (s=singlet, d=doublet, t=triplet, q=quartet, m=multiplet); and integration are reported. High-resolution mass spectral data was recorded on a Micromass Q-Tof Ultima hybrid quadrupole/time-of-flight ESI mass spectrometer at the University of Illinois Mass Spectrometry Laboratory. All melting points are uncorrected. Analytical HPLC performed on a Altima C18 column, 2.1×20 mm, mobile phase A is 0.1% TFA in H2O, B is acetonitrile using a gradient system from 0-45% B over 5 min, then 45-55% B from 5-10 min, then 55-100% B over 10-15 min, constant 100% over 15-20 min, and from 100-0% over 20-25. LC-MS performed on a C18 column, 2.1×5 mm, mobile phase A is 0.1% TFA in H2O, B is acetonitrile using a gradient system with constant 0% B over 0-2 min, then 0-50% B from 2-5 min, then 50-100% B over 5-7 min, constant 100% over 7-8 min, and from 100-0% over 8-10.
[0149]  [see pdf for image] [see pdf for image]
[0150]  [see pdf for image]
[0151]  [see pdf for image]
[0152]  [see pdf for image]
[0153]  [see pdf for image]

Example 3

Evaluation of PAC-1 Derivatives

[0154] FIG. 11 shows relief of zinc mediated caspase-3 inhibition for compound I-II-7. FIG. 12 shows relief of zinc mediated caspase-3 inhibition for compound I-IV-3. The graphs represents three separate dose response experiments. The error bars represent the standard error of the mean for each data point. FIG. 13 shows the absorbance spectra for compound 1-II-6 with and without zinc.
[0155] PAC-1 derivatives were assessed in cell culture and in vitro assays for their ability to kill cancer cells, activate procaspase-3 in vitro, and bind zinc. Compounds that activate procaspase-3 generally have low IC50 values in U937 cells. Exemplary data is shown below in Tables 1-4.
[0156] The induction of cell death was determined using the U-937 (human lymphoma) cell line. U-937 cells grow in culture as a suspension. For these experiments, cells were exposed to a range of compound concentrations for 72 h, cell death was quantitated via a sulforhodamine B assay, and IC50 values were calculated from logistical dose-response curves.
[0157] From the data, it is seen that (1) PAC-1 derivatives that are unable to bind zinc do not activate caspase-3 in vitro, and do not appreciably induce death in U-937 cells in culture. This information suggests that the zinc binding capacity of PAC-1 is important for its cell death-inducing properties. (2) The ortho-hydroxy N-acylhydrazone motif is critical for zinc binding. (3) Virtually all compounds that bind zinc activate caspase-3 in vitro and induce death in U-937 cells in culture. Only compounds I-IV-1 and I-IV-2, which show no in vitro caspase-3 activation but are still cytotoxic to U-937 cells, are exceptions to this trend. Interestingly, we find that these two compounds (at a concentration of 10 μM) are reasonably potent inhibitors of caspase-3 enzymatic activity; thus, any activating effect of the compound may be masked by this inhibition. This inhibition effect is consistent with previous data showing that PAC-1 will also inhibit procaspase-3/caspase-3 at high compound concentrations
[0158] 
[00002] [TABLE-US-00002]
  TABLE 1
 
  Class I compounds
        Caspase-3   Zinc
      U937   (% Activation   Binding
  Compound   Structure(IC50 μM)   at 10 μM)(KD) nM
 
  PAC-1 [see pdf for image]   4.8 ± 1.0   45.8 ± 4.8    50
 
  PAC-1-I-1 [see pdf for image]   15.3 ± 2.0    30 ± 2    79
 
  PAC-1-I-2 [see pdf for image]   61 ± 22   0   ND
 
  PAC-1-I-3 [see pdf for image]   >100   0   ND
 
  PAC-1-I-4 [see pdf for image]   >100   0   ND
 
  PAC-1-I-5 [see pdf for image]   >100   0   ND
 
  PAC-1-I-6 [see pdf for image]   57 ± 5    0   ND
 
  PAC-1-I-7 [see pdf for image]   >100   0   ND
 
  PAC-1-I-8 [see pdf for image]   >100   0   ND
 
  PAC-1-I-9 [see pdf for image]   >100   0   ND
 
  PAC-1-I-10 [see pdf for image]   1.8 ± 0.4   59 ± 5    46
 
  PAC-1-I-11 [see pdf for image]   32 ± 12   0   ND
 
[0159] 
[00003] [TABLE-US-00003]
  TABLE 2
 
  Class II compounds:
        Caspase-3   Zinc
      U937   (% Activation   Binding
  Compound   Structure(IC50 μM)   at 10 μM)(KD) nM
 
  PAC-1-II-1 [see pdf for image]   9.5 ± 1.8   48 ± 3    76
 
  PAC-1-II-2 [see pdf for image]   14 ± 2    20.6 ± 1.6    70
 
  PAC-1-II-3 [see pdf for image]   21 ± 6    26.3 ± 0.1    50
 
  PAC-1-II-4 [see pdf for image]   2.0 ± 0.2   24.2 ± 1.7    96
 
  PAC-1-II-5 [see pdf for image]   1.0 ± 0.1    31 ± 3.6   36
 
  PAC-1-II-6 [see pdf for image]   2.7 ± 0.8    24 ± 3.4   41
 
[0160] 
[00004] [TABLE-US-00004]
  TABLE 3
 
  Class III compounds:
        Caspase-3   Zinc
      U937   (% Activation   Binding
  Compound   Structure(IC50 μM)   at 10 μM)(KD) nM
 
  PAC-1-III-1 [see pdf for image]   12 ± 2    30.7 ± 1.2    68
 
[0161] 
[00005] [TABLE-US-00005]
  TABLE 4
 
  Class IV compounds:
        Caspase-3   Zinc
      U937   (% Activation   Binding
  Compound   Structure(IC50 μM)   at 10 μM)(KD) nM
 
  PAC-1-IV-1 [see pdf for image]   2.8 ± 1.1   0   ND
 
  PAC-1-IV-2 [see pdf for image]   6.5 ± 3.6   0   ND
 
  PAC-1-IV-3 [see pdf for image]   2.7 ± 1.1   36 ± 3*   50
 
  PAC-1-IV-4 [see pdf for image]   59 ± 14   17.1 ± 1.2    ND
 
  PAC-1-IV-5 [see pdf for image]   22 ± 3    0   ND
 
  PAC-1-IV-6 [see pdf for image]   >100   4.1 ± 1.0   ND
 
  PAC-1-IV-7 [see pdf for image]   >100   4.4 ± 0.9   ND
 

Example 4

Confocal Microscopy

[0162] Confocal microscopy was performed with fluorescent PAC-1 to investigate the sub-cellular localization of PAC-1 in cells, so as to confirm that PAC-1 kills cancer cells by binding to Zn2+. The fluorescent version of PAC-1 was synthesized by “clicking” Alexa Fluor 350 to PAC-1 as shown in Scheme 5.
[0163]  [see pdf for image]
[0164] The fluorescently labeled compound AF-PAC-1 shown above has activity similar to that of PAC-1 in these assays (IC50 versus U-937 cells=14.8 (3.2 μM; caspase-3 activation at 10 μM=6.3 (1.6% and at 50 μM=20 (3%; Kd for zinc=61 (9 nM). FIG. 14 shows results of the confocal microscopy study. Colocalization of AF-PAC-1 with sites of caspase-3/-7 enzymatic activity. SK-MEL-5 cells treated with DMSO show background levels of staining in both the red and green channels (shaded gray here). Cells treated only with FAM-DEVD-fmk do not show any staining above background levels. Cells treated only with AF-PAC-1 show punctuate staining in the cytoplasm with no increase in the emission at 520 nm. Cells treated concurrently with AF-PAC-1 and FAM-DEVD-fmk show spots of intense caspase-3/-7 activity (pseudocolored) and punctate staining of AF-PAC-1 (pseudocolored), which exhibit good colocalization in the merged image.

Example 5

Clinical Trials with Dogs for PAC-1

[0165] Formulation of PAC-1 with 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin was administered into animals at higher doses. Dog experienced acute neurological toxicity (ataxia and seizure). Further studies in mice showed similar symptoms at high doses. It is believed that PAC-1 crosses the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and chelates the inhibitory zinc bound at the NMDA receptors. As a result, a new compound, PAC-II-9 was synthesized and tested. Further information about this compound is described elsewhere herein.
[0166] 
[00006] [TABLE-US-00006]
  TABLE 5
 
  Prediction of Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB) permeability
          BB
      U937     ([brain]/
  Compound   Structure   (IC50 μM)   LogBB   [blood])
 
  PAC-1 [see pdf for image]   4.8 ± 1.0   −0.07   0.85/1
 
  PAC-1-II-9 [see pdf for image]   3.9 ± 1.4   −1.26   0.05/1
 
[see pdf for image]
[0167] 
[00007] [TABLE-US-00007]
 
  Preliminary Results
    PAC-1      
    (mg/kg)   Neurotoxicity   PAC-1-II-9 (mg/kg)   Neurotoxicity
 
  Mice   12.5   No   12.5   No
    25.0   Yes   25.0   No
    37.5   Yes   37.5   No
  Dogs   25.0   yes   60.0   No
 
[0168] Preliminary animal studies showed that PAC-1-II-9 was useful to improve the neurotoxicity issue.
[0169] Additional compounds and Log BB data are provided in Table 6.
[0170] 
[00008] [TABLE-US-00008]
  TABLE 6
 
              Solubility
              in β-
              Cyclo-
          Zinc     dextran
        Caspase-3   Bind-     (mg β-CD/
      U937   (%   ing     μmol
  Com-     (IC50   Activation(KD)     Com-
  pound   Structure   μM)   at 10 μM)   nM   LogBB   pound)
 
  PAC- 1 [see pdf for image]   4.8 ± 1.0   45.8 ± 4.8    50   −0.07   5.3
 
  PAC- 1-I-1 [see pdf for image]   15.3 ± 2.0    30 ± 2    79   −0.23  
 
  PAC- 1-III- 1 [see pdf for image]   12 ± 2    30.7 ± 1.2    68   −0.52  
 
  PAC- 1-I- 10 [see pdf for image]   1.6 ± 0.4   59 ± 5    46    0.08  
 
  PAC- 1-II-1 [see pdf for image]   9.5 ± 1.6   48 ± 3    76   −0.50  
 
  PAC- 1-II-4 [see pdf for image]   2.0 ± 0.2   24.2 ± 1.7    96   −0.06  
 
  PAC- 1-II-5 [see pdf for image]   1.0 ± 0.1    31 ± 3.6   36   −0.96   15.2 
 
  PAC- 1-II-6 [see pdf for image]   2.7 ± 0.8    24 ± 3.4   41   −0.24   7.1
 
  PAC- 1-IV- 3 [see pdf for image]   2.7 ± 1.1   36 ± 3*   50   0.1  
 
  PAC- 1-III- 2 [see pdf for image]    27 ± 9.4       −0.9   
 
  PAC- 1-III- 3 [see pdf for image]    38 ± 6.2       −1.1   
 
  PAC- 1-III- 4 [see pdf for image]   17.5        −0.9   
 
  PAC- 1-III- 5 [see pdf for image]   8.4 ± 1.6       −0.9   
 
  PAC- 1-III- 6 [see pdf for image]   5.5 ± 1.5       −1.1   
 
  PAC- 1-III- 7 [see pdf for image]   4.6 ± 1.0       −0.8    4.0
 
  PAC- 1-III- 8 [see pdf for image]   2.3       −1.02   5.6
 
  PAC- 1-III- 9 [see pdf for image]   3.6       −1.26   3.5
 
  [see pdf for image]   10.7 
 
[0171] 
[00009] [TABLE-US-00009]
   
      Zinc     Solubility in
      Binding     β-Cyclodextran (mg β-
    Compound(KD) nM   LogBB   CD/μmol Compound)
   
 
    PAC-1   50   −0.07   5.3
    PAC-1-I-1   79   −0.23  
    PAC-1-III-1   68   −0.52  
    PAC-1-I-10   46   0.08  
    PAC-1-II-1   76   −0.50  
    PAC-1-II-4   96   −0.06  
    PAC-1-II-5   36   −0.36  
    PAC-1-II-6   41   −0.24  
    PAC-1-IV-3   50   0.1  
    PAC-1-III-2     −0.9  
    PAC-1-III-3     −1.1  
    PAC-1-III-4     −0.9  
    PAC-1-III-5     −0.9  
    PAC-1-III-6     −1.1  
    PAC-1-II-7     −0.8   4.0
    PAC-1-II-8     −1.02   5.6
    PAC-1-II-9     −1.26   3.5
   

Example 6

PAC-II-9 (S-PAC-1) Reduces Neurotoxicity

[0172] Induction of apoptotic cell death is a promising anticancer strategy. A critical event in the cascade of apoptosis is the proteolytic activation of procaspase zymogens to the active caspases, cysteine proteases which then cleave scores of cellular substrates. In 2006, a small molecule that enhances the catalytic activity of procaspase-3 and induces its autoactivation to caspase-3 was reported. This compound, called PAC-1, induces apoptosis in cancer cells, and exhibits antitumor activity in murine xenograft models when administered orally as a lipid-based formulation or implanted subcutaneously as a cholesterol pellet. Herein the assessment of PAC-1 (delivered as an intravenous bolus) in mice is reported, and these studies reveal high dosages of PAC-1 induce neurotoxicity. Based on this finding and the putative mechanism of neurotoxicity, a PAC-1 derivative, called S-PAC-1, was designed, synthesized, and evaluated. Similar to PAC-1, S-PAC-1 activates procaspase-3 and induces apoptotic death in cancer cells; however, it induces no neurotoxicity, as evaluated in mice and dogs. A continuous intravenous infusion protocol was established for S-PAC-1 in dogs, allowing this compound to reach a steady state plasma concentration of ˜15 μM for 24 hours. Five pet dogs with lymphoma were evaluated in a small clinical trial with S-PAC-1. Results show that S-PAC-1 is well-tolerated in these patients, and these treatments induced partial regression or stable disease in 4 of 5 patients.
[0173] In the last decade, the potential of targeted therapeutics as personalized anticancer strategies has been demonstrated. These approaches exploit specific proteins present in cancer cells to confer specificity versus normal cells (1). Such “personalized” drugs hit targets (2) that arise from a chromosomal translocation (Gleevec for the BCR-ABL fusion protein (3)), specific mutant forms of a protein resulting in constitutive activation (Iressa and EGFR mutation, (4) PLX4032 and mutant BRAF (5,6)), or a protein that is overexpressed in cancer cells (described further below). As one of the hallmarks of cancer is resistance to apoptosis (7-9), apoptotic proteins are particularly interesting targets for anticancer drug discovery (10). Indeed, anticancer activity has been demonstrated with compounds that target the dysregulated expression of apoptotic proteins, including small molecule disrupters of the p53-MDM2 interaction (11,12), inhibitors of Bcl-2 (13), and ligands for XIAP (14,15).
[0174] Members of the caspase family of cysteine proteases are key players in both the initiation and execution of apoptosis. These enzymes exist in the cell as low activity zymogens (proenzymes) that are proteolytically activated to the mature, highly active enzyme. Most critical to apoptosis is the proteolytic conversion of procaspase-3 to the caspase-3. As both the intrinsic and extrinsic apoptotic pathways converge to activate procaspase-3, and as caspase-3 has over 100 cellular substrates, the activation of procaspase-3 to caspase-3 is a pivotal and committed event in the apoptotic cascade. Interestingly, procaspase-3 is overexpressed in a variety of tumor histologies including breast cancer (16), colon cancer (17), lung cancer (18), lymphoma (19), neuroblastoma (20), melanoma (21) and liver cancer (22), suggesting that a small molecule that activates procaspase-3 could have selectivity for cancer cells versus normal cells. In 2006 we reported the discovery of a small molecule, called PAC-1, which enhances procaspase-3 activity in vitro, induces death in cancer cells in culture, and has efficacy in multiple mouse xenograft models when administered orally as a lipid-base formulation or implanted subcutaneously as a cholesterol pellet (23). PAC-1 activates procaspase-3 in vitro through the chelation of inhibitory zinc ions (24), and derivative synthesis and evaluation revealed that the biological activity of PAC-1 is tied to having an intact ortho-hydroxy N-acyl hydrazone zinc-chelating motif (25). Much data suggests that PAC-1 induces apoptotic death in cancer cells through the chelation of zinc from procaspase-3, most notably the colocalization of a fluorescent PAC-1 derivative with sites of cellular caspase-3 activity (25).
[0175] As the first procaspase-activating compound, experiments with PAC-1 show the potential of procaspase-3 activation as a viable anticancer strategy. To further develop PAC-1 as an experimental therapeutic for the treatment of cancer in people, we sought to characterize the effect of this compound when administered intravenously and in more sophisticated in vivo tumor model systems, specifically, canines with spontaneous cancer. The evaluation of experimental therapeutics in pet dogs with cancer offers many advantages over murine xenograft models (26). Herein we report toxicity studies of intravenous PAC-1 in mice, and the discovery of a PAC-1 derivative (called S-PAC-1) that induces apoptosis in cancer cell lines in culture, is well-tolerated in mice and research dogs, and has efficacy in a small trial of canine patients with spontaneous lymphoma.
[0176] Formulation of PAC-1. To expedite the translational investigation of procaspase-3 activators for treating human cancer patients, the tolerability of PAC-1 when administered intravenously (the most common drug delivery route for conventional anticancer agents) was assessed. To this end we first optimized a formulation procedure which reliably maintained high concentrations of PAC-1, a lipophilic drug, in aqueous solution. The solubilizing agent allowing for the dissolution and maintenance of PAC-1 in aqueous solution was 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin. In an aqueous 200 mg/mL solution of 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin, PAC-1 is soluble at 20 mg/mL. Complete dissolution requires acidification of the aqueous solution to pH 1.5-2, and then the solution is restored to pH 5-6. Using this procedure PAC-1 will remain in solution and is stable for at least 5 days when stored at 4° C.
[0177] Toxicity of PAC-1. In an effort to characterize the feasibility and tolerability of intravenously administered PAC-1, C57/BL6 mice were administered PAC-1 (dissolved in 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin) at 10, 20, 30 and 50 mg/kg via lateral tail vein injection, and the animals were observed for 24 hours. At 10 mg/kg of PAC-1, no clinical signs of toxicity were observed. Mice that received 20 mg/kg of PAC-1 in this manner exhibited mild neurological symptoms including lethargy, and mild ataxia; these symptoms persisted for 20 minutes after injection, at which point the mice recovered and showed no further signs of toxicity. Mice that received 30 mg/kg of PAC-1 exhibited overt signs of neurotoxicity including spasms (1/3), ataxia (3/3) and loss of balance (3/3) with onset occurring within 5 minutes of injection and lasting approximately 15 minutes. Mice that received 50 mg/kg of PAC-1 exhibited acute neurotoxic symptoms with more pronounced ataxia and loss of balance. At this dosage muscle spasms were observed in all mice. Mice that received only the 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin vehicle did not exhibit toxicity. Despite this observed neurotoxicity in mice, PAC-1 has been administered safely to dogs at lower doses. To confirm that this neurotoxicity was not species specific, 60 mg/kg of PAC-1 was administered i.v. to one healthy research hound dog over the course of 10 minutes. Administration of this high concentration of PAC-1 resulted in similar neurotoxicity including ataxia and spasms which lasted for 20 minutes.
[0178] Given the known affinity of PAC-1 for zinc in vitro (24), and its demonstrated ability to bind to cellular zinc (25), we hypothesized that the neurotoxicity observed in mice and dogs that were administered PAC-1 in 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin was caused by the chelation of intracellular zinc at NMDA receptors within the central nervous system of the treated mice. This hypothesis is consistent with data from in vivo studies of other zinc chelators that induce a neurological phenotype reminiscent of what we observed with PAC-1. (27,28) Indeed, in silico analysis of PAC-1 to predict the partitioning across the blood-brain barrier (BBB)29 shows that PAC-1 has a calculated log BB of −0.07. This log BB would correlate to a partitioning ratio of 0.85/1.0 between the blood and the brain, suggesting that a significant amount of PAC-1 may be entering the central nervous system. Several studies have indicated that chelation of intracellular zinc stores relieves tonic suppression of NMDA receptors, resulting in neuronal hyperexcitation (28,30).
[0179]  [see pdf for image]
Gram-Scale Synthesis of S-PAC-1.
[0180] Design of S-PAC-1. To overcome this neurotoxicity, we synthesized a derivative of PAC-1 that had a lower propensity to cross the BBB to exhibit decreased neurotoxicity and allow for dosing at higher concentrations. A polar functional group installed on the benzyl ring of PAC-1 should decrease the predicted log BB while maintaining the activity of the parent compound. As such S-PAC-1, a sulfonamide derivative of PAC-1, was designed as a compound predicted to have a markedly decreased ability to cross the BBB (log BB of −1.26). The synthetic route to S-PAC-1 is shown in Scheme 6 this route is a modification of the synthetic route to PAC-1 previously reported (23). Briefly, sulfonamide 1 is coupled with piperazine 2 to provide ester 3 in good yield. The ester is then reacted with hydrazine to produce hydrazide 4, which is then condensed with aldehyde 5 to furnish S-PAC-1. All experimental details for this route and spectral data for S-PAC-1 and the various intermediates can be found elsewhere herein. Notably, the reaction sequence is highly scalable; indeed, the yields listed in Scheme 6 are for production of 40 grams of S-PAC-1. Critical to this scale-up was the development of facile purification protocols for each intermediate. Thus, compound 2 is purified via recrystallization from ethanol, hydrazide 3 is purified through recrystallization from methanol, and the final product is purified through silica gel chromatography and recrystallization from methanol. By conducting this synthesis four times on a 40 gram scale, over 160 g of S-PAC-1 was successfully produced. Details of smaller scale synthesis of S-PAC-1 may be found elsewhere herein.
[0181] S-PAC-1 binds zinc ions. The activity of S-PAC-1 was characterized in several biochemical assays. An EGTA competition titration experiment (31) was used to determine the binding constant for the S-PAC-1:Zn2+ complex. In this experiment, a solution containing a known quantity of EGTA and S-PAC-1 was titrated with increasing concentrations of Zn2+ and the fluorescence of S-PAC-1 was monitored at 475 nm. Changes in fluorescence in the presence of Zn2+ were used to plot a formation curve (FIG. 16b). Using the known binding constant of EGTA, the free zinc concentration can be calculated and used to determine the binding constant of the S-PAC-1:Zn2+ complex. This complex has a Kd of 46±5 nM compared to 52±2 nM for PAC-1:Zn2+.(25) (FIG. 20).
[0182] EGTA Fluorescence Titration Assay—
[0183] This titration assay is based on a published protocol. (Huang, Org. Lett. 2007, 9, 4999-5002). Before titration, cuvette was incubated with EDTA (10 mM) for 10 min, followed by sterile deionized water and acetone washing for removing any residue metal ions. PAC-1 or derivative (60 μM) was added to a cuvette containing buffer (Hepes: 50 mM, KNO3: 100 mM, pH 7.2) with EGTA (7.3 mM) to achieve a 10-fold dilution (final PAC-1 concentration: 6 μM). Zn(OTf)2 (0-10 mM) was added incrementally. The formation of Zn-PAC-1 (or derivative) complex was monitored by the increase in fluorescence intensity (ex/em: 410 nm/475 nm). Fluorescence intensity at 475 nm was plotted against free Zn concentration ([Zn]f/M) calculated using MaxChelator program. (Patton, Cell Calcium, 2004, 35, 427-431). The data was analyzed using KaleidaGraph and fitted to a formation curve based on Eq S1 derived by published protocol.
          I=(IminKD+Imax[Zn]f)/(KD+[Zn]f)  Eq S1
where Imin and Imax were defined as the fluorescence intensity of the free probe (PAC-1 or derivative in this case) and that of the Zn-probe complex respectively.
[0184] S-PAC-1 activates procaspase-3 in vitro. The ability of S-PAC-1 to activate recombinantly expressed procaspase-3 in the presence of exogenous zinc in vitro was assessed. To ensure that the activity of the proenzyme was being monitored, a proteolytically uncleavable mutant of procaspase-3 (in which the three aspartic acid cleavage site residues are mutated to alanine (D9A/D28A/D175A)) was used (24,32). This recombinantly expressed protein was incubated in the presence of 10 μM zinc, and S-PAC-1 was added to the sample and the activity of the enzyme was monitored at 15 minute intervals. As shown in FIG. 16c, S-PAC-1 rapidly (within 5 minutes) enhances the enzymatic activity of the proenzyme by relief zinc-mediated inhibition.
[0185] S-PAC-1 induces cell death in multiple cancer cell lines in culture. Having confirmed that S-PAC-1 chelates zinc and activates procaspase-3 in vitro, the anticancer activity of S-PAC-1 was assessed against a panel of human, canine, and murine cancer cell lines. Cells were incubated with varying concentrations of compound for 72 hours after which cell death was assessed using a sulforhodamine B assay. (33) The IC50 values for PAC-1 and S-PAC-1 are reported in Table 1A. In most instances, S-PAC-1 is equipotent to PAC-1, although PAC-1 appears to be more potent in HeLa cells. Both PAC-1 and S-PAC-1 appear to be potent against all lymphoma cell lines tested regardless of the species of origin. Further analysis with U-937 cells shows that S-PAC-1 induces apoptosis in these cells. U-937 cells were treated with DMSO, 50 μM PAC-1 or 50 μM S-PAC-1 for 12 hours. After incubation, apoptosis was assessed by annexin V/PI staining and analyzed by flow cytometry (FIG. 16d). Both PAC-1 and S-PAC-1 treatment leads to an increase in the population of cells exhibiting annexin V staining. In this experiment, S-PAC-1 induces apoptosis to the same extent as PAC-1 (˜40%).
[0186] In an effort to determine an appropriate treatment strategy for the evaluation of S-PAC-1 in vivo, the time dependency of S-PAC-1 cytotoxicity was evaluated. U-937 cells were treated with S-PAC-1 for various lengths of time. After treatment with S-PAC-1, cells were washed to remove compound and were cultured in growth media without compound. Cell death was assessed at 72 hours for all treatment times. An IC50 value was determined for each exposure time and reported in Table 1B. At 3, 6 and 9 hours the IC50 value was greater than the highest concentration tested. At 12 hours of exposure, a rapid reduction in the IC50 value is observed. By 24 hours of exposure, the IC50 value is near a minimum and shows little variation over the course of the subsequent 48 hours. These time dependency experiments suggest that S-PAC-1 will be most effective in vivo if cancer cells are exposed to the compound for at least 24 hours.
[0187] S-PAC-1 has no neurotoxic effect in mice. Having confirmed the activity of S-PAC-1 in vitro and in cell culture, the toxic effect of S-PAC-1 was assessed in C57/BL6 mice. In an analogous fashion to the toxicity determination of PAC-1, S-PAC-1 (solubilized with 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin) was administered to C57/BL6 mice via lateral tail vein injection at 12.5 mg/kg, 25 mg/kg, 37.5 mg/kg and 350 mg/kg. No neurotoxicity was observed even at the 350 mg/kg dose.
[0188] With the initial goal of assessing S-PAC-1 in murine tumor models, the pharmacokinetics of S-PAC-1 in mice was determined. If S-PAC-1 could be administered in a manner to allow for plasma concentrations of S-PAC-1 to exceed ˜10 μM over the course of 24 hours, the treatment could be effective at inducing procaspase-3 activation and apoptosis in tumor cells. In order to develop a treatment strategy along these lines, C57/BL6 mice were treated with 125 mg/kg S-PAC-1 in 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin via i.p. administration. Mice were sacrificed and blood drawn at varying time points after administration. Blood samples were centrifuged and the serum was collected and analyzed by liquid chromatography to determine drug concentration. The drug concentration over time for S-PAC-1 is shown in FIG. 17A. The peak plasma concentration achieved by this dose is ˜170 μM at 30 minutes after injection. The plasma concentration of S-PAC-1 then rapidly decreases with no S-PAC-1 remaining in the blood at 4 hours post injection. Analysis of this data indicates the elimination half life of S-PAC-1 to be ˜1 hour in mice. Based on the peak plasma concentration achieved and the short half life of S-PAC-1 in mice, it was predicted that the mice would need to be treated with a 350 mg/kg dose of S-PAC-1 every two hours, to achieve and maintain a minimum plasma concentration of 10 μM over the course of 24 hours. Although this frequent dosing regimen for S-PAC-1 (i.p. every 2 hours for 24 hours) was technically feasible, further evaluation of S-PAC-1 as a novel therapeutic agent using murine tumor models was not methodologically practical. As such we sought to further investigate S-PAC-1 in a larger mammalian experimental system, specifically healthy and spontaneous cancer-bearing dogs, which conferred greater practicability for the maintenance of S-PAC-1 steady state concentrations for prolonged periods of time.
[0189] Assessment of S-PAC-1 in research dogs. Healthy research hound dogs were utilized for pharmacokinetic and toxicity investigations of S-PAC-1. Four research hound dogs were treated with 25 mg/kg S-PAC-1 (solubilized in 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin) via i.v. injection over 10 minutes. Multiple serum samples were collected over 24 hours to characterize the pharmacokinetic profile of intravenously administered S-PAC-1 in dogs. In addition to pharmacokinetic analysis, the hematologic and non-hematologic tolerability of single-dose, intravenous S-PAC-1 administration was monitored in research dogs weekly for 4 consecutive weeks. (Table 2A). As shown in FIG. 17B, the peak plasma concentration resulting from this 25 mg/kg i.v. bolus dose was ˜150 μM, similar to that achieved in the mice treated with the 125 mg/kg i.p. dose. From analysis of the pharmacokinetic profile, the half life of S-PAC-1 in dogs was calculated to be 3 hours. Additionally, single-dose, intravenous S-PAC-1 treatment was well-tolerated by all 4 research dogs and no short or long term adverse events were observed with these animals as a result of treatment.
[0190] Although the half-life of 3 hours in dogs is a significant improvement over the half-life of S-PAC-1 in mice, pharmacokinetic calculations predicted that the drug would need to be administered several times during the course of a day to maintain serum levels above ˜10 μM. Alternatively, continuous-rate infusion can be used to maintain a steady-state serum concentration of a drug during the course of the treatment. Continuous-rate infusion strategies have been used with other chemotherapeutic drugs such as dacarbazine (34), cytosine arabinoside (35), and gemcitabine (36) with infusion times up to 98 hours. Additionally, YM155, an investigational proapoptotic drug that exhibits increased activity with longer exposure times, is currently in clinical trials and utilizes a 168 hour continuous-rate infusion. (37)
[0191] Three healthy research dogs were utilized to determine if S-PAC-1 could be safely administered via a continuous-rate infusion regimen, and to determine appropriate dosing levels to maintain plasma concentrations above ˜10 μM. Each dog received an initial loading dose via i.v. infusion over the course of 10 minutes followed by a maintenance dosage delivered by an infusion pump for an additional 24 hours. Each dog was observed throughout the course of their 24-hour infusions for adverse reactions and blood was drawn at intervals to assess the pharmacokinetic profile of S-PAC-1 treatment. In addition, following completion of S-PAC-1 infusion, research dogs were evaluated for hematologic and non-hematologic toxicity weekly for 4 consecutive weeks.
[0192] S-PAC-1 administered as a 24-hour continuous-rate infusion can be safely given to research dogs and easily reaches micromolar steady-state plasma concentrations. Pharmacokinetic profiles for the dogs administered S-PAC-1 in this manner show that steady state plasma concentrations correlate with dose escalation (FIG. 17C). Based on these results it was predicted that a 7 mg/kg loading dose and 3 mg/kg/hr constant rate infusion would be sufficient to achieve steady state plasma concentration of ˜10 μM. Additionally, the continuous-rate infusion of S-PAC-1 was well tolerated at all doses examined and no hematologic or non-hematologic toxicities were observed in any of the research dogs.
[0193] Having confirmed the in vitro activity of S-PAC-1, shown that the compound can be safely administered via continuous-rate infusion, and that steady state plasma concentrations of S-PAC-1 of >10 μM may be achieved for a 24 hour duration, a small (n=5) clinical trial of client-owned pet dogs with spontaneous lymphoma was conducted. Spontaneously arising cancers in pet dogs share many similarities with human cancers including histologic appearance, tumor genetics, molecular targets, biologic and clinical behavior and response to therapy (38). Of these spontaneous canine cancers, multicentric lymphoma is the most common, occurring in 13 to 24 of every 100,000 dogs (39). The clinical progression and treatment of multicentric B-cell or T-cell canine lymphoma has many of the same characteristics of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in humans. Canine lymphoma and human non-Hodgkin's lymphoma both respond clinically to the same cytotoxic drugs such as doxorubicin, vincristine and cyclophosphamide. These drugs are components of the CHOP treatment protocol, which is the first line therapy for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma in humans (40). When administered to dogs, the CHOP protocol will induce complete clinical remission in approximately 90% of dogs diagnosed with lymphoma (41,42). Similar to the human response, the majority of dogs who achieve remission with CHOP therapy will experience disease relapse (43). Given the commonalties between human and canine lymphoma, evaluation of S-PAC-1 in a canine lymphoma clinical trial provides important translational information for the development S-PAC-1 as a novel human therapeutic.
[0194] Inclusion criteria for S-PAC-1 trial. Dogs presented or referred to the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign, College of Veterinary Medicine, Small Animal Clinic were considered for enrollment in the clinical trial. Inclusion criteria for eligible patients were the following: histologically or cytologically confirmed multicentric lymphoma; measurable tumor burden; favorable performance status; a life expectancy of >4 weeks; no previous chemotherapy within 3 weeks of study entry; and no significant co-morbid illness including renal or hepatic failure, history of congestive heart failure, or clinical coagulopathy. In addition, pet owners had to have signed a written informed consent form prior to study entry according to university guidelines.
[0195] Toxicity and pharmacokinetics of S-PAC-1 in canine lymphoma patients.
[0196] Five patient dogs received treatment with S-PAC-1 via one of two treatment regimens (summarized in Table 7C). Patients enrolled in the first treatment regimen received a once-a-week 24 hour continuous infusion of S-PAC-1 for 4 weekly cycles. Patients enrolled in the second treatment regimen received a 72 hour continuous infusion of S-PAC-1 every other week for 2 treatment cycles. Blood was collected during each S-PAC-1 treatment cycle for pharmacokinetic analysis. In addition, blood was collected from all pet dogs at each scheduled follow up visit to characterize hematologic and non-hematologic toxicity. Between administrations, patients were monitored by pet owners for gastrointestinal toxicity observational scores adhering the Veterinary Co-operative oncology group common terminology and criteria for adverse events (VCOG_CTCAE) (44). All patients enrolled in either treatment regimens 1 or 2 did not demonstrate any clinically significant hematologic or non-hematologic toxicity (Table 7C and D). Only minor adverse events were reported by pet owners such as self-limiting and localized irritation at the infusion site (n=3), transient loss of appetite (n=1), and mild diarrhea (n=2). All adverse reactions subsided within 48 hours of the end of each treatment cycle.
[0197] Pharmacokinetic analysis indicated that all patients had measurable serum concentrations of S-PAC-1, as shown in FIG. 18. S-PAC-1 concentrations reached a steady state within 6 hours of the beginning of infusion. In accordance with the prediction from the healthy research dogs, an infusion with a loading dose of 7 mg/kg and a constant rate infusion of 3 mg/kg/hr was sufficient to achieve steady state plasma concentrations of >10 μM in the majority of treatments.
[0198] Antitumor activity of S-PAC-1. Assessment of tumor burden was monitored throughout the course of the study via cumulative caliper measurements of peripheral lymph nodes as well as CT scans of the mandibular lymph nodes. Caliper measurement was done according to the RECIST method (45). Briefly, the longest linear length measurement was recorded for 4 pairs of peripheral lymph nodes (mandibular, prescapular, inguinal, and popliteal), with the summation of these values giving a RECIST score. In addition to caliper measurements for all 4 sets of peripheral lymph nodes, CT scans were performed of the mandibular lymph nodes in every patient, allowing for accurate and objective measurement of maximal lymph node linear length. Of the 5 patients treated, one patient (patient 1) showed a partial response with a ˜30% reduction in both RECIST score and the mandibular lymph node measurements by CT scan over the course of the 4 week treatment (FIGS. 19A and B). Following the four treatment cycles, drug administration was stopped and the dog was monitored by RECIST for 2 subsequent weeks. In the absence of treatment, the RECIST scores for this dog increased dramatically (day 36 and 42). In addition to this partial response, three patients showed stable disease (patients 2-4) while one patient showed disease progression (patient 5).
[0199] S-PAC-1 is the first compound in the PAC-1 class (and the first small molecule activator of procaspase-3) to be evaluated in a clinical trial of cancer patients. As such this data is important for the strategy of procaspase-3 activation as an anticancer therapy. It is perhaps not surprising that high doses of PAC-1 induce neurotoxicity, given the mechanism of action of the compound and its predicted permeability of the BBB. Further, the brief lag in onset of this neurotoxicity (˜5 minutes) suggests that the neurotoxicity observed is not a result of the initial peak plasma concentration of PAC-1, but rather the result of a redistribution of PAC-1 across the BBB. Zinc homeostasis is important in the central nervous system (46), and NMDA receptors require bound zinc to provide a tonic inhibition (28). NMDA receptors bind zinc with a low affinity (Kd=5.5 μM) (47) which suggests that a zinc chelator with a higher affinity for zinc such as PAC-1 or S-PAC-1 (Kd=46 and 52 nM respectively) would be able to successfully sequester zinc from these receptors. Several studies indicate that intracellular zinc chelation results in hyperexcitation of these receptors (27), resulting in symptoms such as uncontrolled muscle movement and seizure (28). Indeed a cell permeable zinc chelator, TPEN, has been shown to induce severe neurotoxicity in mice at low concentrations and rapid death at higher concentrations (48).
[0200] There are several factors that affect the permeability of a compound through the BBB including polarity, lipophilicity, and size (29). One strategy for reducing the permeability of a compound to the BBB is to increase the polarity of the molecule. Addition of the sulfonamide functional group is a good candidate for such polarity increase as the aryl sulfonamide motif is common in a number of small molecule therapeutics. FDA approved drugs containing the aryl sulfonamide functional group include Celecoxib (Celebrex®), Tamsulosin (Flomax®), and hydrochlorothiazide.
[0201] Pet dogs with lymphoma represent a significant tool for the investigation of investigational new drugs (26). Nearly 1 in 4 pet dogs in the US die from cancer (49), and without treatment the mean survival time from diagnosis is 4-6 weeks. The standard of care for dogs with lymphoma is administration of CHOP therapy (26). This therapy consists of 16 courses of drug administration over 19 weeks and usually results in complete remission. Similar to the human disease, the majority of dogs that achieve remission will experience relapse often accompanied by drug resistance. As such, new pharmacophores are needed to address both primary and recurrent lymphoma. As shown in Table 6C, one dog enrolled in the current study (patient 1) was in remission for 5 months after CHOP therapy, and was recently diagnosed with recurrent lymphoma. Upon enrollment in the study this dog showed a 27% decrease in tumor size in response to S-PAC-1 treatment. This partial response is significant given the comparatively short treatment duration (4 weeks for S-PAC-1 vs. 19 weeks for CHOP). It is encouraging that four out of five patients achieved partial response or stable disease for 4 weeks in duration, as canine lymphoma is generally a rapidly progressive malignancy with dramatic enlargement of peripheral lymph nodes within weeks of disease diagnosis. This is further illustrated by the rapid enlargement observed in the lymph nodes of patient 1 after cessation of treatment.
[0202] Compounds in the PAC-1 class activate procaspase-3 via chelation of inhibitory zinc ions (25). Intracellular zinc is found principally in tightly-bound complexes in metalloproteases, zinc-finger domains, and other metal binding proteins; however, approximately 10% of cellular zinc is believed to exist in a loosely-bound, labile pool (50). A number of studies implicate labile zinc as an endogenous antiapoptotic regulator (51-54). Interestingly, chelation of the loosely-bound pool of zinc is an emerging anti-cancer strategy (24,25). Recently, another small molecule zinc chelator, ML-133, was reported to have anti-cancer properties in vitro and in a murine xenograft model of colon cancer (55). Although not reported by the authors, ML-133 may act in a similar manner to PAC-1 and S-PAC-1 (i.e. activation of procaspase-3). Thus, the evaluation of S-PAC-1 also is useful in the chelation of the labile zinc pool as an anti-cancer strategy.
[0203] In conclusion, S-PAC-1 is a potent cytotoxic small molecule with similar activity to the parent compound, PAC-1. While high doses of PAC-1 (when administered in 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin) induce neurotoxicity in vivo, S-PAC-1 does not cause this side-effect. S-PAC-1 can be safely administered to mice, research dogs, and lymphoma bearing dogs, and shows encouraging clinical effect in this preliminary one-dosage evaluation. Given the absence of neurotoxicity with S-PAC-1 it is anticipated that S-PAC-1 will prove to be safe at even higher doses than those evaluated here. A full canine clinical trial of S-PAC-1 including dose escalation in lymphoma dogs is currently underway.
[0204] 
[00010] [TABLE-US-00010]
  TABLE 6
 
  A) Cytotoxicity analysis of PAC-1 and S-PAC-1 in various cancer cell lines in culture. B) Time dependence of S-
  PAC-1 cytotoxicity in U-937 cells. C) Characteristics of the five lymphoma bearing dogs treated with S-PAC-1.
 
  A)
      PAC-1 IC50S-PAC-1 IC50
  Cell line   Species   Origin   Value (μM)   Value (μM)
 
  U-937   Human   Lymphoma   9.3 ± 0.5   7.7 ± 1.2
  EL-4   Mouse   Lymphoma   3.8 ± 0.9   7.1 ± 1.3
17-71a   Dog   Lymphoma   2.5 ± 0.9   2.7 ± 0.8
  GL-1   Dog   Lymphoma   4.9 ± 0.3   7.1 ± 0.3
  OSW   Dog   Lymphoma   8.6 ± 1.3   11.0 ± 0.9 
  Jurkat   Human   Leukemia   5.7 ± 2.8   4.5 ± 1.1
  SK-Mel-5   Human   Melanoma   11.5 ± 3.6    8.6 ± 1.3
  HeLa   Human   Cervical   15.5 ± 3.8    28.4 ± 7.7 
  MDA-MB-231   Human   Breast   9.9 ± 1.0   11.7 ± 5.3 
 
  B)
  Exposure Time (hr)IC50 (μM)
 
  1   >100
  3   >100
  6   >100
  9   20 ± 12
  12   9.7 ± 1.1
  24   5.9 ± 1.0
  48   5.6 ± 0.8
  72   5.2 ± 0.3
 
  C)
  Patient   Breed   Male/Female   Age   Weight (lb)   Immunophenotype   Prior Therapy   Treatment
 
  1   Mixed Breed   Castrated Male   7   79   B-Cell Lymphoma   CHOP   24 hr
  2   Labrador Retriever   Spayed Female   7   89   T-Cell Lymphoma   Naïve   24 hr
  3   Newfoundland   Intact Male   4   160   T-Cell Lymphoma   Naïve   24 hr
  4   Corgi   Spayed Female   8   30   B-Cell Lymphoma   Naïve   72 hr
  5   Golden Retriever   Spayed Female   7   80   B-Cell Lymphoma   Naïve   72 hr
 
aThis cell line was assessed using the MTS cell viability assay.
[0205] 
[00011] [TABLE-US-00011]
  TABLE 7
 
  A) Select hematologic and non-hematologic parameters of research dogs treated with single dose
  of S-PAC-1, C) lymphoma bearing dogs treated with S-PAC-1 in a 24 hour continuous rate infusion
  every week for 4 consecutive treatments, and D) lymphoma bearing dogs treated with S-PAC-1
  in a 72 hour constant rate infusion every other week for 2 consecutive treatments.
 
  A)
  Parameter   Reference range   Day 0   Day 7   Day 14   Day 21
 
  WBC   6.0-17.0 × 1000   8.1   8.1   9   9.6
  Neutrophil   3.0-11.5 × 1000   4.4   5   5.1   5.2
  Platelet     1.5-9.0 × 100000   1.4   2   1.7   1.7
  Creatinine   0.5-1.6   mg/ml   0.7   0.8   0.6   0.8
  Liver ALT   17.0-87.0   U/L   31   29   29   30
 
  C)
  Parameter   Reference Range   Day 0   Day 7   Day 14   Day 21   Day 28
 
  WBC6-17.0 × 103   8.8 ± 3.3   11.1 ± 4.2    9.7 ± 3.1   11.0 ± 3.9    10.1 ± 2.4 
  Neutrophil3-11.5 × 103   6.7 ± 0.6   8.7 ± 0.8   7.2 ± 0.5   8.8 ± 1.1   7.6 ± 0.4
  Platelet  2-9 × 105   2.6 ± 0.5   2.6 ± 0.8   2.7 ± 0.7   2.7 ± 1.0   2.4 ± 1.0
  Creatinine   0.5-1.6   mg/dl   1.2 ± 0.1   1.1 ± 0.1   1.2 ± 0.1   1.2 ± 0.2   1.6 ± 0.9
  ALT   17-87   U/L   50.7 ± 19.9   46.3 ± 11.0   41.0 ± 13.2   43.0 ± 15.5   53.0 ± 30.5
  BUN   7.0-31.0   mg/dl   17.2 ± 2.6    14.0 ± 1.6    14.6 ± 1.1    15.5 ± 2.8    24.5 ± 16.7
  Sodium   141-161   mEq/L   148.7 ± 2.1    145.3 ± 2.1    147.0 ± 1.7    149.3 ± 3.2    149.7 ± 1.5 
  Potassium   3.9-5.7   mEq/L   4.4 ± 0.3   4.3 ± 0.2   4.4 ± 0.3   4.4 ± 0.4   4.0 ± 0.6
  Chloride   104-125   mEq/L   117.0 ± 1.0    111.3 ± 3.1    113.3 ± 1.5    118.0 ± 1.7    113.7 ± 4.9 
  Calcium   7.9-11.5   mg/dl   11.3 ± 1.9    11.7 ± 2.1    11.4 ± 2.5    11.0 ± 1.1    12.0 ± 2.7 
  Phosphorous   2.4-6.5   mg/dl   3.6 ± 1.0   3.5 ± 0.3   3.2 ± 0.3   3.2 ± 0.6   3.8 ± 0.8
  ALP   1.2-110   U/L   26.7 ± 11.2   37.3 ± 18.4   45.7 ± 16.5   45.0 ± 18.5   49.0 ± 20.7
  Bilirubin   0.08-0.5   mg/dl   0.1 ± 0.1   0.1 ± 0.1   0.1 ± 0.1   0.1 ± 0.0   0.1 ± 0.1
 
  D)
    Parameter   Reference Range   Day 0   Day 14   Day 28
   
    WBC6-17.0 × 103   18.4 ± 5.3    11.8 ± 2.4    18.3 ± 12.2
    Neutrophil3-11.5 × 103   13.5 ± 1.4    8.1 ± 2.3   12.3 ± 0.8 
    Platelet  2-9 × 105   2.8 ± 0.8   2.7 ± 0.8   2.5 ± 0.0
    Creatinine   0.5-1.6   mg/dl   0.8 ± 0.2   0.7 ± 0.3   0.7 ± 0.2
    ALT   17-87   U/L   73.0 ± 42.4   81.0 ± 58.0   57.5 ± 46.0
    BUN   7.0-31.0   mg/dl   13.2 ± 4.5    16.0 ± 0.1    12.7 ± 0.9 
    Sodium   141-161   mEq/L   148.0 ± 5.7    148.0 ± 0.0    148.0 ± 1.4 
    Potassium   3.9-5.7   mEq/L   4.6 ± 0.2   4.2 ± 0.1   4.4 ± 0.0
    Chloride   104-125   mEq/L   117.5 ± 0.7    116.5 ± 3.5    115.0 ± 1.4 
    Calcium   7.9-11.5   mg/dl   9.8 ± 0.7   9.9 ± 0.4   9.9 ± 0.3
    Phosphorous   2.4-6.5   mg/dl   4.3 ± 0.1   3.7 ± 0.3   3.5 ± 1.0
    ALP   12-110   U/L   98.0 ± 65.1   63.0 ± 65.1   81.5 ± 75.7
    Bilirubin   0.08-0.5   mg/dl   0.2 ± 0.1   0.2 ± 0.1   0.2 ± 0.1
   
    WBC—white blood cell,
    ALT—alanine transferase,
    BUN—blood urea nitrogen,
    ALP—alkaline phosphatase

Materials and Methods
General
[0206] All reactions requiring anhydrous conditions were conducted under a positive atmosphere of nitrogen or argon in oven-dried glassware. Standard syringe techniques were used for anhydrous addition of liquids. Dry tetrahydrofuran was obtained by passing over activated alumina columns or molecular sieves in a commercial solvent purification system (Innovative Technologies). Unless otherwise noted, all starting materials, solvents, and reagents were acquired from commercial suppliers and used without further purification. Flash chromatography was performed using 230-400 mesh silica gel. Compound 1, 2, and 5 (Naganawa, Bioorg Med Chem, 2006, 14, 7121-7137). were prepared according to the literature methods.

Compound Analysis

[0207] All NMR experiments were recorded either in D2O (Sigma), CD3OD (sigma) or Acetone-d6 (Sigma) on a Varian Unity 400 MHz or 500 MHz spectrometer with residual undeuterated solvent as the internal reference. Chemical shift, β (ppm); coupling constants, J (Hz); multiplicity (s=singlet, d=doublet, t=triplet, q=quartet, m=multiplet); and integration are reported. High-resolution mass spectral data was recorded on a Micromass Q-Tof Ultima hybrid quadrupole/time-of-flight ESI mass spectrometer at the University of Illinois Mass Spectrometry Laboratory. All melting points are uncorrected. LC-MS performed on a C18 column, 2.1×5 mm, mobile phase A is 0.1% TFA in H2O, B is acetonitrile using a gradient system with constant 0% B over 0-2 min, then 0-50% B from 2-5 min, then 50-100% B over 5-7 min, constant 100% over 7-8 min, and from 100-0% over 8-10.
[0208]  [see pdf for image]
[0209]  [see pdf for image]

Ethyl 2-(4-(4-sulfamoylbenzyl)piperazin-1-yl)acetate (3)

[0210]  [see pdf for image]
[0211] To a stirred mixture of 1 (108 g, 440.7 mmol, 1.4 equiv.) and K2CO3 (132.4 g, 958.2 mmol, 3 equiv.) in 3:2 THF/acetone (2192 mL in total) was added ethyl 2-(piperazin-1-yl)acetate, 2 (79.9 g, 319.4 mmol, 1 equiv.). The reaction was refluxed for 24 h monitoring by TLC. The solution was filtered and the solid was washed with acetone (80 mL). The filtrate was concentrated in vacuo, and then purified by recrystallization in ethanol to afforded 3 (57.4 g, 60%) as light yellow solid. On the milligram-scale, the crude product was purified by flash column chromatography on silica gel (1:4 MeOH/EtOAc). 1H-NMR (500 MHz, CD3OD): δ 7.86 (d, J=8.0 Hz, 2H), 7.52 (d, J=8.0 Hz, 2H), 4.17 (q, J=7.1 Hz, 2H), 3.61 (s, 2H), 3.24 (s, 2H), 2.58 (broad d, J=50.4 Hz, 8H), 1.26 (t, J=7.1 Hz, 3H). 13C NMR (126 MHz, CD3OD): δ 170.4, 142.8, 142.4, 129.7, 126.0, 61.9, 60.6, 58.5, 52.5, 52.4, 13.3. HRMS (ESI). found: 342.1487 (M+1); calcd for C15H24N3O4S: 342.1488. m.p.: 153.0-154.5. IR (neat): 3319, 1739, 1160 cm−1.

4-((4-(2-hydrazinyl-2-oxoethyl)piperazin-1-yl)methyl)benzenesulfonamide (4)

[0212]  [see pdf for image]
[0213] To a stirred solution of 3 (110.9 g, 324.8 mmol, 1 equiv.) in 2:1 ethanol/methanol (650 mL in total, 0.5 M) was added anhydrous hydrazine (30.6 mL, 974.5 mmol, 3 equiv.). The reaction was refluxed for 16 h monitoring by TLC (1:1 MeOH/EtOAc). The reaction mixture was concentrated in vacuo. The residue was dissolved in CH2Cl2 and washed with water (100 mL) and brine (100 mL). The aqueous layer was extracted with CH2Cl2 (3×80 mL) and EtOAc (80 mL). The combined organic layer was dried over Na2SO4, filtered and concentrated in vacuo. Purification with recrystallization in methanol gave 4 (96.3 g, 91%) as white solid. On the milligram-scale, the reaction was run in ethanol (0.06 M). 1H NMR (500 MHz, CD3OD): δ 7.85 (d, J=8.2 Hz, 2H), 7.51 (d, J=8.2 Hz, 2H), 3.61 (s, 2H), 3.04 (s, 2H), 2.54 (broad s, 8H). 13C NMR (126 MHz, CD3OD): δ 170.2, 142.8, 142.4, 129.7, 126.0, 61.9, 59.8, 53.0, 52.6. HRMS (ESI). found: 328.1436 (M+1); calcd for C13H22N5O3S: 328.1443. m.p.: 194.5-196.0. IR (neat): 3320, 1670, 1158 cm−1.

(E)-4-((4-(2-(2-(3-allyl-2-hydroxybenzylidene)hydrazinyl)-2-oxoethyl)piperazin-1-yl)methyl)benzenesulfonamide (S-PAC-1)

[0214]  [see pdf for image]
[0215] To a stirred solution of 5 (28.8 g, 177.3 mmol, 1 equiv.) in 1:2 acetonitrile/methanol (1180 mL in total, 0.15 M), 4 (98.7 g. 301.4 mmol, 1.7 equiv.) and HCl (7 mol %) were added. The reaction was refluxed for 48 h monitoring by TLC. The solution was concentrated in vacuo. The crude product was purified by flash column chromatography on silica gel (1:4 MeOH/EtOAc), and followed by recrystallization in methanol to afford S-PAC-1 (45.9 g, 55%) as off-white solid. On the milligram-scale, the reaction was run in ethanol (0.02 M). 1H NMR (500 MHz, (CD3)2CO): δ 11.86 (s, 1H), 10.79 (s, 1H), 8.51 (s, 1H), 7.85 (d, J=8.2 Hz, 2H), 7.53 (d, J=8.2 Hz, 2H), 7.19 (d, J=7.6 Hz, 2H), 6.86 (t, J=7.6 Hz, 1H), 6.56 (s, 2H), 6.02 (tdd, 1H, J=6.7 Hz, J=10.1 Hz, J=16.9 Hz), 5.04 (m, 2H), 3.60 (s, 2H), 3.42 (d, J=6.7 Hz, 2H), 3.18 (s, 2H) 2.57 (broad d, J=46.5 Hz, 8H). 13C NMR (126 MHz, (CD3)2CO): δ 165.7, 156.4, 150.0, 143.4, 143.2, 136.9, 131.8, 129.32, 129.30, 127.9, 126.2, 119.1, 117.8, 115.1, 62.0, 61.1, 53.7, 52.9, 33.8. HRMS (ESI). found: 472.2014 (M+1); calcd for C23H30N5O4S: 472.2019. m.p.: 108.5-111.0. IR (neat): 3227, 1684, 1606, 1157 cm−1. Purity: >99.5% (LC-MS).

4-(piperazin-1-ylmethyl)benzenesulfonamide (6)

[0216]  [see pdf for image]
[0217] Anhydrous piperazine (860 mg, 10.0 mmol, 5 equiv.) was added to THF (10 mL), and the mixture was heated to reflux until the piperazine was fully dissolved. To the solution 1 (500 mg, 2.0 mmol, 1 equiv.) was added. The reaction mixture was refluxed for 2.5 hr monitoring by TLC. The reaction mixture was neutralized with 1M KOH solution, and then concentrated in vacuo. Purification with flash column chromatography on silica gel (1:4 MeOH/EtOAc) afforded 6 (250 mg, 49%) as light yellow semi-solid. 1H NMR (400 MHz, D2O/(CD3)2CO): δ 7.84 (d, J=8.4 Hz, 2H), 7.51 (d, J=8.4 Hz, 2H), 3.69 (s, 2H), 3.42 (s, 2H), 3.22 (m, 4H), 2.74 (m, 4H), 1.87 (apparent s, 1H). 13C NMR (126 MHz, CDCl3): δ 140.93, 140.87, 131.0, 126.3, 61.1, 49.0, 43.13. HRMS (ESI). found: 256.1114 (M+1); calcd for C11H18N3O2S: 256.1120. IR (neat): 3142, 1158 cm−1.

Example 7

Pharmaceutical Embodiments

[0218] The following describes information relevant to pharmaceutical and pharmacological embodiments and is further supplemented by information in the art available to one of ordinary skill. The exact formulation, route of administration and dosage can be chosen by an individual physician in view of a patient's condition (see e.g. Fingl et. al., in The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 1975, Ch. 1 p. 1).
[0219] It should be noted that the attending physician would know how to and when to terminate, interrupt, or adjust administration due to toxicity, or to organ dysfunctions, etc. Conversely, the attending physician would also know to adjust treatment to higher levels if the clinical response were not adequate (in light of or precluding toxicity aspects). The magnitude of an administered dose in the management of the disorder of interest can vary with the severity of the condition to be treated and to the route of administration. The severity of the condition may, for example, be evaluated, in part, by standard prognostic evaluation methods. Further, the dose and perhaps dose frequency, can also vary according to circumstances, e.g. the age, body weight, and response of the individual patient. A program comparable to that discussed above also may be used in veterinary medicine.
[0220] Depending on the specific conditions being treated and the targeting method selected, such agents may be formulated and administered systemically or locally. Techniques for formulation and administration may be found in Alfonso and Gennaro (1995) and elsewhere in the art. Suitable routes may include, for example, oral, rectal, transdermal, vaginal, transmucosal, or intestinal administration; parenteral delivery, including intramuscular, subcutaneous, or intramedullary injections, as well as intraocular, intrathecal, intravenous, or intraperitoneal administration.
[0221] For injection or other routes, agents of the invention may be formulated in aqueous solutions, preferably in physiologically compatible buffers such as Hanks' solution, Ringer's solution, water for injection, physiological saline buffer, or other solution. For transmucosal administration, penetrants appropriate to the barrier to be permeated can be used in the formulation. Such penetrants are generally known in the art.
[0222] Use of pharmaceutically acceptable carriers to formulate the compounds herein disclosed for the practice of the invention into dosages suitable for systemic or other administration is within the scope of the invention. With proper choice of carrier and suitable manufacturing practice, the compositions of the present invention, in particular those formulated as solutions, may be administered parenterally, such as by intravenous injection, or other routes. Appropriate compounds can be formulated readily using pharmaceutically acceptable carriers well known in the art into dosages suitable for oral administration. Such carriers enable the compounds of the invention to be formulated as tablets, pills, capsules, liquids, gels, syrups, slurries, elixirs, solutions, suspensions and the like, e.g. for oral ingestion by a patient to be treated. For other routes, formulations can be prepared for creams, ointments, lotions, and the like.
[0223] Agents intended to be administered intracellularly may be administered using techniques well known to those of ordinary skill in the art. For example, such agents may be encapsulated into liposomes, other membrane translocation facilitating moieties, or other targeting moieties; then administered as described above. Liposomes can include spherical lipid bilayers with aqueous interiors. All molecules present in an aqueous solution at the time of liposome formation can be incorporated into the aqueous interior. The liposomal contents are both protected from the external microenvironment and, because liposomes fuse with cell membranes, are efficiently delivered into the cell cytoplasm. Additionally, due to hydrophobicity attributes, small organic molecules may be directly administered intracellularly.
[0224] Pharmaceutical compositions suitable for use in the present invention include compositions wherein the active ingredients are contained in an effective amount to achieve the intended purpose. Determination of the effective amounts is well within the capability of those skilled in the art, especially in light of the disclosure provided herein and other information in the art.
[0225] In addition to the active ingredients, these pharmaceutical compositions may contain suitable pharmaceutically acceptable carriers comprising excipients and auxiliaries which facilitate processing of the active compounds into preparations which can be used pharmaceutically. The preparations formulated for oral administration may be in the form of tablets, dragees, capsules, or solutions, including those formulated for delayed release or only to be released when the pharmaceutical reaches the small or large intestine.
[0226] The pharmaceutical compositions of the present invention may be manufactured in a manner that is itself known, e.g., by means of conventional mixing, dissolving, suspending, granulating, dragee-making, levitating, emulsifying, encapsulating, entrapping, lyophilizing, and other processes.
[0227] Pharmaceutical formulations for parenteral administration include aqueous solutions of the active compounds in water-soluble form. Additionally, suspensions of the active compounds may be prepared as appropriate oily injection suspensions. Suitable lipophilic solvents or vehicles include fatty oils such as sesame oil, or synthetic fatty acid esters, such as ethyl oleate or triglycerides, or liposomes. Aqueous injection suspensions may contain substances which increase the viscosity of the suspension, such as sodium carboxymethyl cellulose, sorbitol, or dextran. Optionally, the suspension may also contain suitable stabilizers or agents which increase the solubility of the compounds to allow for the preparation of highly concentrated solutions.
[0228] Pharmaceutical preparations for oral use can be obtained by combining the active compounds with solid excipient, optionally grinding a resulting mixture, and processing the mixture of granules, after adding suitable auxiliaries, if desired, to obtain tablets or dragee cores. Suitable excipients are, in particular, fillers such as sugars, including lactose, sucrose, mannitol, or sorbitol; cellulose preparations such as, for example, maize starch, wheat starch, rice starch, potato starch, gelatin, gum tragacanth, methyl cellulose, hydroxypropylmethyl-cellulose, sodium carboxymethylcellulose, and/or polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP). If desired, disintegrating agents may be added, such as the cross-linked polyvinyl pyrrolidone, agar, or alginic acid or a salt thereof such as sodium alginate.
[0229] Dragee cores are optionally provided with suitable coatings. For this purpose, concentrated sugar solutions may be used, which may optionally contain gum arabic, talc, polyvinyl pyrrolidone, carbopol gel, polyethylene glycol, and/or titanium dioxide, lacquer solutions, and suitable organic solvents or solvent mixtures. Dyestuffs or pigments may be added to the tablets or dragee coatings for identification or to characterize different combinations of active compound doses.
[0230] Pharmaceutical preparations which can be used orally include push-fit capsules made of gelatin, as well as soft, sealed capsules made of gelatin and a plasticizer, such as glycerol or sorbitol. The push-fit capsules can contain the active ingredients in admixture with filler such as lactose, binders such as starches, and/or lubricants such as talc or magnesium stearate and, optionally, stabilizers. In soft capsules, the active compounds may be dissolved or suspended in suitable liquids, such as fatty oils, liquid paraffin, or liquid polyethylene glycols. In addition, stabilizers may be added.
[0231] This application incorporates by reference each of the following applications in entirety for all purposes: U.S. Provisional Application Ser. 60/684,807 filed May 26, 2005 inventors Paul J. Hergenrother, Karson S. Putt, Grace W. Chen, Jennifer M. Pearson; U.S. Provisional Application Ser. 60/743,878 filed Mar. 28, 2006 inventors Paul J. Hergenrother, Karson S. Putt, Grace W. Chen, Jennifer M. Pearson; U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/420,425 filed May 25, 2006 inventors Paul J. Hergenrother, Karson S. Putt, Grace W. Chen, Jennifer M. Pearson; PCT International Application Serial PCT/US Serial No. 06/020910 filed May 26, 2006 inventors Paul J. Hergenrother, Karson S. Putt, Grace W. Chen, Jennifer M. Pearson; PCT International Application Number PCT/US2008/061510 filed Apr. 25, 2008 inventors Paul J. Hergenrother, Karson S. Putt, Joseph S. Sandhorst, Quinn P. Peterson, and Valerie Fako; U.S. provisional application Ser. 60/914,592 filed Apr. 27, 2007 inventors Paul J. Hergenrother; Karson S. Putt; Joseph S. Sandhorst; Quinn P. Peterson; Valerie Fako. U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/597,287, filed Oct. 23, 2009. Compounds claimed as compositions of matter in patent applications listed herein having an identical inventor to the present application are not intended to be claimed as compositions of matter in the present application and it is intended that sufficient disclosure be present in the present application to be able to exclude each compound from the claims individually or in combination.

STATEMENTS REGARDING INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE AND VARIATIONS

[0232] All references throughout this application, for example patent documents including issued or granted patents or equivalents; patent application publications; unpublished patent applications; and non-patent literature documents or other source material; are hereby incorporated by reference herein in their entireties, as though individually incorporated by reference, to the extent each reference is at least partially not inconsistent with the disclosure in this application (for example, a reference that is partially inconsistent is incorporated by reference except for the partially inconsistent portion of the reference).
[0233] Any appendix or appendices hereto are incorporated by reference as part of the specification and/or drawings.
[0234] Where the terms “comprise”, “comprises”, “comprised”, or “comprising” are used herein, they are to be interpreted as specifying the presence of the stated features, integers, steps, or components referred to, but not to preclude the presence or addition of one or more other feature, integer, step, component, or group thereof. Separate embodiments of the invention are also intended to be encompassed wherein the terms “comprising” or “comprise(s)” or “comprised” are optionally replaced with the terms, analogous in grammar, e.g.; “consisting/consist(s)” or “consisting essentially of/consist(s) essentially of” to thereby describe further embodiments that are not necessarily coextensive. For clarification, as used herein “comprising” is synonymous with “having,” “including,” “containing,” or “characterized by,” and is inclusive or open-ended and does not exclude additional, unrecited elements or method steps. As used herein, “consisting of” excludes any element, step, component, or ingredient not specified in the claim element. As used herein, “consisting essentially of” does not exclude materials or steps that do not materially affect the basic and novel characteristics of the claim (e.g., not affecting an active ingredient). In each instance herein any of the terms “comprising”, “consisting essentially of” and “consisting of” may be replaced with either of the other two terms. The invention illustratively described herein suitably may be practiced in the absence of any element or elements, limitation or limitations which is not specifically disclosed herein.
[0235] The invention has been described with reference to various specific and preferred embodiments and techniques. However, it should be understood that many variations and modifications may be made while remaining within the spirit and scope of the invention. It will be appreciated by one of ordinary skill in the art that compositions, methods, devices, device elements, materials, optional features, procedures and techniques other than those specifically described herein can be applied to the practice of the invention as broadly disclosed herein without resort to undue experimentation. All art-known functional equivalents of compositions, methods, devices, device elements, materials, procedures and techniques described herein; and portions thereof; are intended to be encompassed by this invention. Whenever a range is disclosed, all subranges and individual values are intended to be encompassed. This invention is not to be limited by the embodiments disclosed, including any shown in the drawings or exemplified in the specification, which are given by way of example or illustration and not of limitation. The scope of the invention shall be limited only by the claims.

REFERENCES

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Claims

1. A therapeutic composition comprising a compound of Formula (FX2):
[see pdf for image]
wherein
one of R10, R11, R12, R13 or R14 contains a polar group selected from the group consisting of: a sulfonamide group, a nitro group, an amino group, a carboxy group, and an aryl sulfonyl group;
the others of R10, R11, R12, R13 and R14, and R3, R7, R8, or R9 are each independently selected from the group consisting of: hydrogen, halogen, a hydroxyl group, C1-C6 alkyl, C1-C6 alkoxy, and C2-C6 alkenyl; and
R2 is hydrogen or C1-C6 alkyl;
or a salt thereof;
in combination with a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier or excipient.
2. The composition of claim 1 wherein one of R10, R11, R12, R13, or R14 of compound of Formula (FX2) is:
[see pdf for image]
where Ra and Rb are each independently hydrogen or C1-C6 alkyl.
3. The composition of claim 2 wherein R12 is —S(O)2NH2.
4. The composition of claim 3 wherein R3 is allyl and R2 is hydrogen.
5. The composition of claim 1 wherein the composition is a composition formulated for enteral, parenteral, topical, aerosol, or inhalation administration.
6. The composition of claim 1 wherein the composition is an aqueous solution formulated for intravenous or intraperitoneal administration.
7. The composition of claim 1 wherein the composition is a solid, gel, or liquid formulated for oral administration.
8. A compound of Formula (FX2):
[see pdf for image]
wherein
at least one of R10, R11, R12, R13, R14, R3, R7, R8, or R9 is a sulfonyl group, a methoxy group, or a fluorescent label moiety;
the others of R10, R11, R12, R13, R14, R3, R7, R8, or R9 are each independently selected from the group consisting of: hydrogen, a hydroxyl group, C1-C6 alkyl, C1-C6 alkoxy, and C2-C6 alkenyl, provided that when R3 is allyl, R12 is not methoxy, and R10 and R13 are not both methoxy, and provided that when R3 is H, R10 and R13 are not both methoxy;
R6 is hydrogen or C1-C6 alkyl; and
R2 is hydrogen or C1-C6 alkyl;
or a salt thereof.
9. The compound of claim 8 wherein R2 is hydrogen and R3 is hydrogen, allyl, or methoxy.
10. The compound of claim 9 wherein R10 is —CH2S(O)2Ph.
11. The compound of claim 9 wherein R12 is —OMe.
12. The compound of claim 8 wherein R3 is hydrogen, allyl, or —OMe, and R2 is hydrogen, each of R7, R8 and R9 is hydrogen, and either R10 is —CH2S(O)2Ph or R12 is —OMe.
13. The compound of claim 8 wherein the compound is FX7:
[see pdf for image]
14. The compound of claim 8 wherein the compound is:
[see pdf for image]
15. The compound of claim 8 wherein the compound is FX9:
[see pdf for image]
16. The compound of claim 8 wherein the compound is:
[see pdf for image]
17. A composition comprising a compound of claim 8 in combination with a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier or excipient.
18. The composition of claim 17 wherein the composition is a composition formulated for enteral, parenteral, topical, aerosol, or inhalation administration.
19. The composition of claim 17 wherein the composition is an aqueous solution formulated for intravenous or intraperitoneal administration.
20. The composition of claim 17 wherein the composition is a solid, gel, or liquid formulated for oral administration.
21. A compound of Formula (FX2):
[see pdf for image]
wherein
R2 is hydrogen;
R3 is hydrogen, allyl, or methoxy;
R10 is —CH2S(O)2Ph;
R7, R8, R9, R11, R12, R13, and R14 are each independently selected from the group consisting of: hydrogen, halogen, a hydroxyl group, C1-C6 alkyl, C1-C6 alkoxy, and C2-C6 alkenyl; and
R6 is hydrogen or C1-C6 alkyl;
or a salt thereof.
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