Polyamine-based Small Molecule Epigenetic Modulators

Medchemcomm. 2012;3(1):14-21. doi: 10.1039/C1MD00220A. Epub 2011 Nov 26.


Chromatin remodelling enzymes such as the histone deacetylases (HDACs) and histone demethylases such as lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1) have been validated as targets for cancer drug discovery. Although a number of HDAC inhibitors have been marketed or are in human clinical trials, the search for isoform-specific HDAC inhibitors is an ongoing effort. In addition, the discovery and development of compounds targeting histone demethylases are in their early stages. Epigenetic modulators used in combination with traditional antitumor agents such as 5-azacytidine represent an exciting new approach to cancer chemotherapy. We have developed multiple series of HDAC inhibitors and LSD1 inhibitors that promote the re-expression of aberrantly silenced genes that are important in human cancer. The design, synthesis and biological activity of these analogues is described herein.