Eur J Med Chem. 2021 Mar 3;216:113317. doi: 10.1016/j.ejmech.2021.113317. Online ahead of print.
The P-glycoprotein (Pgp) is a major transporter involved in multidrug resistance (MDR) of cancer cells leading to chemotherapy failure. In our previous study, we demonstrated that the amide derivatives of pyxinol are promising modulators against Pgp-mediated MDR in cancer. In the present study, we designed and synthesized novel pyxinol derivatives linked to amino acid residues. We evaluated MDR (paclitaxel (Ptx) resistance) reversal potency of forty pyxinol derivatives in KBV cells and analyzed their structure-activity relationships. Half of our derivatives sensitized KBV cells to Ptx at non-toxic concentrations, among which the pyxinol compound bearing a methionine residue (3c) exhibited the best activity in MDR reversal. Compound 3c was found to possess high selectivity toward Pgp and sensitize the KBV cells to Pgp substrates by blocking the efflux function of Pgp. This manifestation may be attributed to its high binding affinity with Pgp, as suggested by docking studies. Overall, the biological profile and ease of synthesizing these pyxinol derivatives render them promising lead compounds for further development for Pgp-mediated MDR.