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Molecules 2013, 18(7), 8319-8341; doi:10.3390/molecules18078319

Factors Influencing the Antifolate Activity of Synthetic Tea-Derived Catechins

Received: 7 June 2013 / Revised: 5 July 2013 / Accepted: 12 July 2013 / Published: 16 July 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Structure-Activity Relationship of Flavonoids)
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Novel tea catechin derivatives have been synthesized, and a structure-activity study, related to the capacity of these and other polyphenols to bind dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR), has been performed. The data showed an effective binding between all molecules and the free enzyme, and the dissociation constants of the synthetic compounds and of the natural analogues were on the same order. Polyphenols with a catechin configuration were better DHFR inhibitors than those with an epicatechin configuration. Antiproliferative activity was also studied in cultured tumour cells, and the data showed that the activity of the novel derivatives was higher in catechin isomers. Derivatives with a hydroxyl group para on the ester-bonded gallate moiety presented a high in vitro binding to DHFR, but exhibited transport problems in cell culture due to ionization at physiologic pHs. The impact of the binding of catechins to serum albumin on their biological activity was also evaluated. The information provided in this study could be important for the design of novel medicinal active compounds derived from tea catechins. The data suggest that changes in their structure to avoid serum albumin interactions and to facilitate plasmatic membrane transport are essential for the intracellular functions of catechins.
Keywords: tea catechins; dihydrofolate reductase; antifolates; albumin; drug design tea catechins; dihydrofolate reductase; antifolates; albumin; drug design
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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Sáez-Ayala, M.; Fernández-Pérez, M.P.; Chazarra, S.; Mchedlishvili, N.; Tárraga-Tomás, A.; Rodríguez-López, J.N. Factors Influencing the Antifolate Activity of Synthetic Tea-Derived Catechins. Molecules 2013, 18, 8319-8341.

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