Several 11-ethyl-2,3-dimethoxy-8,9-methylenedioxy-11H-isoquino[4,3-c]cinnolin-12-ones with varied functionality on the ethyl substituent have exhibited potent topoisomerase I (TOP1) targeting activity and antitumor activity. The influence of various polar substituents at the 2-position of the 11-ethyl substituent, including N-methylamine, N-isopropylamine, hydroxyl, and hydroxylamino groups, on TOP1-targeting activity and cytotoxicity was assessed. The N-methylamine and N-isopropylamine derivatives were also evaluated as antitumor agents in athymic nude mice with MDA-MB-435 human tumor xenografts. Both compounds were active as antitumor agents upon either parenteral or oral administration.
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