Quinazoline antifolate thymidylate synthase inhibitors: alkyl, substituted alkyl, and aryl substituents in the C2 position

J Med Chem. 1990 Nov;33(11):3060-7. doi: 10.1021/jm00173a024.


Modification of the potent thymidylate synthase (TS) inhibitor N-[4-[N-[(2-amino-3,4-dihydro-4-oxo-6-quinazolinyl)methyl]-N-prop-2- ynylamino]benzoyl]-L-glutamic acid (1a) has led to the synthesis of quinazoline antifolates bearing alkyl, substituted alkyl, and aryl substituents at C2. In general the synthetic route involved the coupling of the appropriate diethyl N-[4-(alkylamino)benzoyl]-L-glutamate with a C2-substituted 6-(bromo-methyl)-3,4-dihydro-4-oxoquinazoline followed by deprotection using mild alkali. Good enzyme inhibition and cytotoxicity were found with compounds containing small nonpolar groups in the C2 position with the 2-desamino-2-methyl analogue 3a being the most potent. Larger C2 substituents were tolerated by the enzyme, but cytotoxicity was reduced. Highly potent series were followed up by the synthesis of a number of analogues in which the N10 substituent was varied. In this manner a number of interesting TS inhibitors have been prepared. Although none of these was more potent than 1a against the isolated enzyme, over half of the compounds prepared were more potent as cytotoxic agents against L1210 cells in culture. The potential of such compounds as useful antitumor agents was further enhanced by the finding that the improved aqueous solubilities of compounds such as 3a over 1a were reflected in vivo in that 3a was at least 5 times less toxic to mice than 1a.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / chemical synthesis*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Chemical Phenomena
  • Chemistry
  • Chemistry, Physical
  • Folic Acid / analogs & derivatives
  • Folic Acid / chemical synthesis
  • Folic Acid / pharmacology
  • Folic Acid Antagonists / chemical synthesis*
  • Folic Acid Antagonists / chemistry
  • Folic Acid Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Leukemia L1210 / enzymology
  • Leukemia L1210 / pathology
  • Liver / enzymology
  • Mice
  • Molecular Structure
  • Quinazolines / chemical synthesis*
  • Quinazolines / chemistry
  • Quinazolines / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Thymidylate Synthase / antagonists & inhibitors*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Folic Acid Antagonists
  • Quinazolines
  • CB 3717
  • Folic Acid
  • Thymidylate Synthase