8,9-Methylenedioxybenzo[i]phenanthridines: Topoisomerase I-targeting activity and cytotoxicity

Dajie Li, Baoping Zhao, Sai Peng Sim, Tsai Kun Li, Angela Liu, Leroy F. Liu, Edmond J. LaVoie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Substituted benzo[i]phenanthridines that have incorporated within their structure an 8,9-methylenedioxy group can exhibit topoisomerase I-targeting activity. Structure-activity studies were performed to examine the influence of saturation at the 11,12-positions of several substituted 8,9-methylenedioxybenzo[i]phenanthridines. The activities of these dihydro analogues were compared to those of their unsaturated analogues. In addition, the influence of varying substituents at the 2- and 3-positions within the A-ring of these 8,9-methylenedioxybenzo[i]phenanthridines on their relative potency as topoisomerase I-targeting agents and cell proliferation as determined using the MTT assay was investigated. 2,3-Dimethoxy-8,9-methylenedioxybenzo[i]phenanthridine and its 11,12-dihydro derivative were among the more potent analogues evaluated with regard to topoisomerase I-targeting activity and cytotoxicity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3795-3805
Number of pages11
JournalBioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Aug 15 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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