Aplyronine A (1) and mycalolide B (2), which are cytotoxic actin-depolymerizing marine macrolides, were revealed to induce apoptosis in human leukemia HL60 cells and human epithelial carcinoma HeLa S3 cells. Based on these results, actin-depolymerizing compounds were expected to exhibit apoptosis-inducing activity in cancer cells. Compounds 3-6, which were synthesized based on the side-chain structure of aplyronine A, were evaluated for their actin-depolymerizing activities in vitro and cytotoxicities against HL60 cells. The growth-inhibitory activities of 3-6 were well correlated with their actin-depolymerizing activities, and derivative 6 was shown to induce the disruption of actin filaments and apoptosis in HL60 cells. These results suggested that actin-depolymerizing agents 1, 2, and 6-induced apoptosis in HL60 cells may have been due to their actin-depolymerizing activity.
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