Bioorg Chem. 2021 Feb 18;109:104735. doi: 10.1016/j.bioorg.2021.104735. Online ahead of print.
A series of 17 arylpiperazine derivatives of the 5-spiroimidazolidine-2,4-diones (6-22) has been explored, including variations in (i) the number of aromatic rings at position 5, (ii) the length of the linker, as well as (iii) the kind and position of the linked arylpiperazine terminal fragment. Synthesis (6-16) and X-ray crystallographic studies for representative compounds (8, 10, 14 and 18) have been performed. The ability to inhibit the tumor multidrug resistance (MDR) efflux pump P-glycoprotein (P-gp, ABCB1) overexpressed in mouse T-lymphoma cells was investigated. The cytotoxic and antiproliferative actions of the compounds on both the reference and the ABCB1-overproducing cells were also examined. The pharmacophore-based molecular modeling studies have been performed. ADMET properties in vitro of selected most active derivatives (6, 11 and 12) have been determined. All compounds, excluding 18, inhibited the cancer P-gp efflux pump with higher potency than that of reference verapamil. The spirofluorene derivatives with amine alkyl substituents at position 1, and the methyl group at position 3 (6-16), occurred the most potent P-gp inhibitors in the MDR T-lymphoma cell line. In particular, compounds 7 and 12 were 100-fold more potent than verapamil. Crystallography-supported pharmacophore-based SAR analysis has postulated specific structural properties that could explain this excellent cancer MDR-inhibitory action.