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  • The benzimidazole group seems to be a key feature for

    2024-06-12

    The benzimidazole group seems to be a key feature for the excellent anti-tumor activity of galeterone (159), which motivated the synthesis of new steroidal inhibitors containing N-heterocyclic groups structurally related to benzimidazole. Thus, several 1H- and 2H-indazole derivatives of dehydroepiandrosterone acetate (e.g. compounds 246–249, Fig. 15) have been prepared and tested for the inhibition of human CYP17, androgen receptor (AR) binding affinity, and cytotoxic potential against three PC cell lines [198], [199]. In this study, it was observed that these compounds did not significantly inhibit C17,20-lyase activity when compared to ketoconazole (155) and compound 239 (VN/85-1) and did not display affinity towards the LNCaP mutated AR. Some compounds, instead, bound to the wt-AR in the same extension as casodex. Only low to moderate antiproliferative activity on LAPC4 and LNCaP phospholipase inhibitor was observed, however, the 2H-indazole series was particularly cytotoxic to PC-3 cells, which lacks the AR [198], [199]. A similar study was performed with several C17 steroidal carbamates, namely compounds 250 and 251 (Fig. 15), which were found to inhibit the CYP17 enzyme with IC50 values of 11.5 and 17.1μM, respectively (Table 11, entries 7 and 8). The carbamate moiety at C17 also allowed tight binding of the synthesized compounds to both wild-type (wt-) and mutated AR. When bound to the mutated AR, transcription was stimulated at low concentrations and almost fully blocked at the higher concentrations tested in the presence of the natural androgen DHT (10). Again, several compounds had potent antiproliferative effects on PC-3 cells [199], [200].
    Conclusions The relevance of the enzymes 5α-reductases and CYP17 as biological targets in prostatic diseases such as BPH and PC has been largely demonstrated. Over the years, a large number of compounds have been developed as inhibitors of these enzymes, and some of them have shown promising results. However, the only 5α-reductase inhibitors being marketed are the two 4-azasteroids finasteride (13) and dutasteride (14) whereas abiraterone acetate (156) is the first steroidal CYP17 inhibitor that have been approved for clinical use. The 5α-reductase inhibitors finasteride (13) and dutasteride (14) are mainly used in BPH treatment, although androgenic alopecia in men is another possible clinical application. In this context, the use of dual inhibitors should increase the benefit for BHP treatment further lowering DHT (10) plasma levels. phospholipase inhibitor The use of 5α-reductase inhibitors in BHP prevention and in PC prevention and treatment is still a matter of discussion and probably more clinical studies are needed to clarify their potential role in these situations. The CYP17 inhibitor abiraterone acetate (156) was approved in 2011 by the FDA for the treatment of mCRPC after chemotherapy. In addition, other clinical trials involving this drug are being performed in order to expand its clinical usefulness, namely in CRPC prior to chemotherapy and in combination with other drugs. In spite of these interesting drugs, much research is yet to be undertaken to find more potent and selective inhibitors and even dual inhibitors in order to improve the clinical efficacy and safety of these drugs. A further improvement in the development of new potent and selective inhibitors is usually achieved when a three-dimensional structure of active sites of these enzymes is obtained. Unfortunately, it was still not possible to obtain the X-ray crystal structure of 5α-reductase enzymes and therefore, with the development of molecular biology and biophysics, this is a challenging topic for the next years. In the case of the CYP17 enzyme, however, an important advance in this context was recently reported. In fact, a truncated, His-tagged version of the human CYP17 was generated from a synthetic complimentary DNA and expressed in E. coli and X-ray crystal structures of CYP17A1 were obtained, in the presence of both abiraterone (157) and galeterone (159). The information about the binding mode of these drugs for this enzyme will assist in the understanding of their mode of action as well as in the design of new compounds that selectively inhibits this enzyme, particularly its lyase activity.