Synthetic oleanane and ursane triterpenoids with modified rings A and C: a series of highly active inhibitors of nitric oxide production in mouse macrophages

J Med Chem. 2000 Nov 2;43(22):4233-46. doi: 10.1021/jm0002230.


We have designed and synthesized 16 new olean- and urs-1-en-3-one triterpenoids with various modified rings C as potential antiinflammatory and cancer chemopreventive agents and evaluated their inhibitory activities against production of nitric oxide induced by interferon-gamma in mouse macrophages. This investigation revealed that 9(11)-en-12-one and 12-en-11-one functionalities in ring C increase the potency by about 2-10 times compared with the original 12-ene. Subsequently, we have designed and synthesized novel olean- and urs-1-en-3-one derivatives with nitrile and carboxyl groups at C-2 in ring A and with 9(11)-en-12-one and 12-en-11-one functionalities in ring C. Among them, we have found that methyl 2-cyano-3, 12-dioxooleana-1,9(11)-dien-28-oate (25), 2-cyano-3,12-dioxooleana-1,9(11)-dien-28-oic acid (CDDO) (26), and methyl 2-carboxy-3,12-dioxooleana-1,9(11)-dien-28-oate (29) have extremely high potency (IC(50) = 0.1 nM level). Their potency is similar to that of dexamethasone although they do not act through the glucocorticoid receptor. Overall, the combination of modified rings A and C increases the potency by about 10 000 times compared with the lead compound, 3-oxooleana-1,12-dien-28-oic acid (8) (IC(50) = 1 microM level). The selected oleanane triterpenoid, CDDO (26), was found to be a potent, multifunctional agent in various in vitro assays and to show antiinflammatory activity against thioglycollate-interferon-gamma-induced mouse peritonitis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / chemical synthesis*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / chemistry
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / chemical synthesis*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Female
  • Interferon-gamma
  • Macrophages, Peritoneal / drug effects*
  • Macrophages, Peritoneal / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Nitric Oxide / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Nitric Oxide / biosynthesis
  • Oleanolic Acid / analogs & derivatives*
  • Oleanolic Acid / chemical synthesis*
  • Oleanolic Acid / chemistry
  • Oleanolic Acid / pharmacology
  • Peritonitis / chemically induced
  • Peritonitis / pathology
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Thioglycolates
  • Triterpenes / chemical synthesis*
  • Triterpenes / chemistry
  • Triterpenes / pharmacology


  • 2-cyano-3,12-dioxoolean-1,9-dien-28-oic acid
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Thioglycolates
  • Triterpenes
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Oleanolic Acid
  • 2-mercaptoacetate
  • Interferon-gamma