Cytotoxicity and intracellular biotransformation of N-benzyladriamycin-14-valerate (AD 198) are modulated by changes in 14-O-acyl chain length

Anticancer Drugs. 1998 Jan;9(1):58-66. doi: 10.1097/00001813-199801000-00007.


N-benzyladriamycin-14-valerate (AD 198) is pharmacologically superior to Adriamycin (ADR) based upon comparable cytotoxicity, decreased cardiotoxicity and the ability of AD 198 to circumvent multidrug resistance conferred by either P-glycoprotein overexpression or reduced topoisomerase II activity. AD 198, however, suffers from systemic lability of the 14-O-valerate moiety to enzymatic and non-enzymatic cleavage to yield N-benzyladriamycin (AD 288), which is more similar to ADR in activity. The purpose of this study was to determine whether stability of the ester linkage could be achieved while preserving the favorable characteristics of AD 198 by using a series of N-benzylated ADR congeners containing 14-O-acyl substitutions of incrementally shorter carbon chain lengths. Results from this study indicate that the linear five-carbon valerate substitution is the minimum length necessary to circumvent P-glycoprotein and prevent inhibition of topoisomerase II activity. In addition, although AD 198 is not a pro-drug of AD 288, intracellular 14-O-acyl cleavage appears to contribute to the cytotoxicity of AD 198.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic / metabolism
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic / pharmacology*
  • Cell Line / drug effects
  • Doxorubicin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Doxorubicin / metabolism
  • Doxorubicin / pharmacology
  • Macrophages / drug effects
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic
  • N-benzyladriamycin
  • Doxorubicin
  • N-benzyladriamycin-14-valerate