Alanine scan-guided synthesis and biological evaluation of analogues of culicinin D, a potent anticancer peptaibol

Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2020 Jun 1;30(11):127135. doi: 10.1016/j.bmcl.2020.127135. Epub 2020 Mar 23.


Culicinin D (1), a 10 amino acid peptaibol originally isolated from Culicinomyces clavisporus, exhibits potent activity against a range of cancer cell lines. Building on our previous work exploring the structure-activity relationship (SAR) of the unusual (2S,4S,6R)-AHMOD residue, a series of analogues of culicinin D were prepared to further investigate the SAR of these peptaibols. Alanine scanning of a potent and readily accessible analogue 23 revealed the effect of each residue on antiproliferative activity, and a small panel of analogues were prepared to explore the SAR of the non-natural amino acid residue (2S,4R)-AMD. Results from the alanine scan were used to design an expanded library of culicinin D analogues, leading to the discovery of cyclohexylalanine analogue 52, which exhibited better antiproliferative activity than the natural product 1.

Keywords: Cancer; Culicinin D; Peptaibol.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alanine / chemistry*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / chemical synthesis*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Drug Screening Assays, Antitumor
  • Humans
  • Hypocreales / chemistry
  • Hypocreales / metabolism
  • Oligopeptides / chemical synthesis
  • Oligopeptides / chemistry*
  • Oligopeptides / pharmacology
  • Peptaibols / chemical synthesis
  • Peptaibols / chemistry*
  • Peptaibols / pharmacology
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Oligopeptides
  • Peptaibols
  • culicinin D
  • Alanine