Discovery of potent molecular chimera (CM358) to treat human metastatic melanoma

Y. Gilad, H. Tuchinsky, G. Ben-David, R. Minnes, A. Gancz, H. Senderowitz, G. Luboshits, M. A. Firer, G. Gellerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The resistance of cancer cells to chemotherapeutic agents, whether through intrinsic mechanisms or developed resistance, motivates the search for new chemotherapeutic strategies. In the present report, we demonstrate a facile synthetic strategy towards the discovery of new anti-cancer substances. This strategy is based on simple covalent coupling between known anti-cancer drugs, which results in novel 'chimeric' small molecules. One of these novel compounds, CM358, is the product of an amide bond formation between the known Topoisomerase II (Topo II) inhibitor amonafide (AM) and the known DNA mustard alkylator chlorambucil (CLB). It demonstrates significant enhanced cytotoxicity over an equimolar mixture of AM and CLB in various cancer cell lines and in a xenograft model of human metastatic melanoma. Topo II inhibition as well as in silico docking studies suggest that CM358 is a stronger Topo II binder than AM. This may be attributed, at least partially, to the placement of the CLB moiety in a favorable orientation with respect to DNA cross-linking with nearby guanines. In a human metastatic melanoma (WM 266-4) xenograft model, this compound was profoundly superior to a mixture of AM and CLB in reduction of tumor growth, maintenance of body weight and extension of overall survival.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)602-615
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
StatePublished - 2017


  • Anticancer drugs
  • Chimeric compounds
  • Drug conjugation
  • Drugs combination
  • Human metastatic melanoma
  • Molecular docking


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