Almaliti, Jehad; Al-Hamashi, Ayad A A; Negmeldin, Ahmed T; Hanigan, Christin L; Perera, Lalith; Pflum, Mary K; Casero, Robert A; Tillekeratne, L M
A number of analogues of the marine-derived histone deacetylase inhibitor largazole incorporating major structural changes in the depsipeptide ring were synthesized. Replacing the thiazole-thiazoline fragment of largazole with a bipyridine group gave analogue 7 with potent cell growth inhibitory activity and an activity profile similar to that of largazole, suggesting that conformational change accompanying switching hybridization from sp to sp at C-7 is well tolerated. Analogue 7 was more class I selective compared to largazole, with at least 464-fold selectivity for class I HDAC proteins over class II HDAC6 compared to a 22-fold selectivity observed with largazole. To our knowledge 7 represents the first example of a potent and highly cytotoxic largazole analogue not containing a thiazoline ring. The elimination of a chiral center derived from the unnatural amino acid R-α-methylcysteine makes the molecule more amenable to chemical synthesis, and coupled with its increased class I selectivity, 7 could serve as a new lead compound for developing selective largazole analogues.