Substituted pyrido[3,4-b]carbazoles, pyrido[2,3-b]carbazoles, indolo[2,3-b]quinolines, and benzimidazo[1,2-b]-isoquinolines were synthesized and evaluated for biological activity. Several methylated derivatives of these heterocyclic compounds had similar activity to ellipticine as mammalian topoisomerase II inhibitors. Methylated derivatives of these heterocyclic compounds were also highly active in vitro, inhibiting the growth of several human tumor cell lines. These data demonstrate that the antineoplastic activity associated with ellipticine can be retained within a wide variety of analogous heterocyclics.
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