Revision of the Regioselectivity of the Beirut Reaction of Monosubstituted Benzofuroxans with Benzoylacetonitrile. 6-Substituted quinoxaline-2-carbonitrile 1,4- dioxides: Structural Characterization and Estimation of Anticancer Activity and Hypoxia Selectivity

Author(s): Galina I. Buravchenko, Alexander M. Scherbakov, Alexander А. Korlukov, Pavel V. Dorovatovskii, Andrey E. Shchekotikhin*

Journal Name: Current Organic Synthesis

Volume 17 , Issue 1 , 2020

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Graphical Abstract:


Abstract:

Background: Quinoxaline 1,4-dioxides have a broad range of biological activity that causes a growing interest in their derivatives for drug discovery. Recent studies demonstrated that quinoxaline 1,4- dioxides have a promising anticancer activity and good hypoxia-selectivity.

Objective: The preparation, isolation, structure characterization, and screening for anticancer activity of the first representatives of 6-substituted quinoxaline-2-carbonitrile 1,4-dioxides have been described.

Materials and Methods: A series of 7- and 6-halogeno-3-phenylquinoxaline-2-carbonitrile 1,4-dioxides was synthesized by the Beirut reaction. The cytotoxicity was assessed by MTT test (72 h incubation) in normoxia (21% O2) and hypoxia (1% O2) conditions.

Results: We found that during the Beirut reaction between a benzofuroxan bearing an electron withdrawing group and benzoylacetonitrile in the presence of triethylamine, in addition to well-known 7-substituted quinoxaline-2-carbonitrile 1,4-dioxides 7-11a, the 6-isomers 7-11b are formed. Moreover, the yield of the 6- isomers increased with the increase in the electron-withdrawing character of the substituent. For benzofuroxans with CO2Me and CF3 groups, 6-substituted quinoxaline-2-carbonitrile 1,4-dioxides 10-11b were the major products. Despite similarities in physicochemical and spectroscopic properties, the obtained isomers exhibit considerable differences in their anticancer activity and hypoxia selectivity.

Conclusion: Substituents and their electronic effects play a key role in the formation of 7- and 6-substituted quinoxaline-2-carbonitrile 1,4-dioxides in the Beirut reaction and in the cytotoxicity properties of the obtained isomers.

Keywords: 6(7)-substituted-3-phenylquinoxaline-2-carbonitrile 1, 4-dioxides, structural isomers, CIGAR-HMBC method, X-ray structural analysis, antiproliferative activity, hypoxia-selective cytotoxins, Beirut reaction.

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