To discover small-molecule cancer immunotherapy candidates through targeting Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 1 (IDO1), twenty–five new berberine (BBR) derivatives defined with substituents on position 3 or 9 were synthesized and examined for repression of IFN-γ-induced IDO1 promoter activities. Structure–activity relationship (SAR) indicated that large volume groups at the 9-position might be beneficial for potency. Among them, compounds 2f, 2i, 2n, 2o and 8b exhibited increased activities, with inhibition rate of 71–90% compared with BBR. Their effects on IDO1 expression were further confirmed by protein level as well. Furthermore, compounds 2i and 2n exhibited anticancer activity by enhancing the specific lysis of NK cells to A549 through IDO1, but not cytotoxicity. Preliminary mechanism revealed that both of them inhibited IFN-γ-induced IDO1 expression through activating AMPK and subsequent inhibition of STAT1 phosphorylation. Therefore, compounds 2i and 2n have been selected as IDO1 modulators for small-molecule cancer immunotherapy for next investigation.
European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry – Elsevier
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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