Indolizine-Based Scaffolds as Efficient and Versatile Tools: Application to the Synthesis of Biotin-Tagged Antiangiogenic Drugs

ACS Omega. 2017 Dec 31;2(12):9221-9230. doi: 10.1021/acsomega.7b01184. Epub 2017 Dec 27.


We describe the design and optimization of polyfunctional scaffolds based on a fluorescent indolizine core derivatized with various orthogonal groups (amines, esters, oximes, alkynes, etc.). To show one application as tools in biology, the scaffold was used to prepare drug-biotin conjugates that were then immobilized onto avidin-agarose for affinity chromatography. More specifically, the antiangiogenic drug COB223, whose mechanism of action remained unclear, was chosen as a proof-of-concept drug. The drug-selective discrimination of proteins observed after elution of the cell lysates through the affinity columns, functionalized either with the biologically active COB223 or a structurally related inactive analogue (COB236), is a clear indication that the presence of the indolizine core does not limit drug-protein interaction and confirms the usefulness of the indolizine scaffold. Furthermore, the separation of COB223-interacting proteins from human placental extracts unveiled unanticipated protein targets belonging to the family of regulatory RNA-binding proteins, which opens the way to new hypotheses on the mode of action of this antiangiogenic drug.