Synthesis and biological evaluation of novobiocin analogues as potential heat shock protein 90 inhibitors

G. M.Kamal B. Gunaherath, Marilyn T. Marron, E. M.Kithsiri Wijeratne, Luke Whitesell, A. A.Leslie Gunatilaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Recent studies have shown that novobiocin (NB), a member of the coumermycin (CA) family of antibiotics with demonstrated DNA gyrase inhibitory activity, inhibits Heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) by binding weakly to a putative ATP-binding site within its C-terminus. To develop more potent HSP90 inhibitors that target this site and to define structure-activity relationships (SARs) for this class of compounds, we have synthesized twenty seven 3-amido-7- noviosylcoumarin analogues starting from NB and CA. These were evaluated for evidence of HSP90 inhibition using several biological assays including inhibition of cell proliferation and cell cycle arrest, induction of the heat shock response, inhibition of luciferase-refolding in vitro, and depletion of the HSP90 client protein c-erbB-2/HER-2/neu (HER2). This SAR study revealed that a substantial increase in biological activity can be achieved by introduction of an indole-2-carboxamide group in place of 4-hydroxy-isopentylbenzamido group at C-3 of NB in addition to removal/derivatization of the 4-hydroxyl group from the coumarin ring. Methylation of the 4-hydroxyl group in the coumarin moiety moderately increased biological activity as shown by compounds 11 and 13. Our most potent new analogue 19 demonstrated biological activities consistent with known HSP90-binding agents, but with greater potency than NB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5118-5129
Number of pages12
JournalBioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 1 2013


  • Biological activity
  • Heat shock protein 90 (HSP90)
  • Novobiocin analogues
  • Structure-activity relationship
  • Synthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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