Several acyl derivatives of the aureolic acid chromomycin A(3) were obtained via lipase-catalyzed acylation. Lipase B from Candida antarctica (CAL-B) was found to be the only active biocatalyst, directing the acylation regioselectively towards the terminal secondary hydroxyl group of the aglycone side chain. All new chromomycin A(3) derivatives showed antitumor activity at the micromolar or lower level concentration. Particularly, chromomycin A(3) 4'-vinyladipate showed 3-5 times higher activity against the four tumor cell lines assayed as compared to chromomycin A(3).
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