In the course of screening for an inhibitor of farnesyl transferase (FTase), we identified two compounds, N-benzyl-aclacinomycin A (ACM) and N-allyl-ACM, which are new derivatives of ACM. N-benzyl-ACM and N-allyl-ACM inhibited FTase activity with IC 50 values of 0.86 and 2.93 μM, respectively. Not only ACM but also C-10 epimers of each ACM derivative failed to inhibit FTase. The inhibition of FTase by N-benzyl-ACM and N-allyl-ACM seems to be specific, because these two compounds did not inhibit geranylgeranyltransferase or geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate (GGPP) synthase up to 100 μM. In cultured A431 cells, N-benzyl-ACM and N-allyl-ACM also blocked both the membrane localization of H-Ras and activation of the H-Ras-dependent PI3K/Akt pathway. In addition, they inhibited epidermal growth factor (EGF)-induced migration of A431 cells. Thus, N-benzyl-ACM and N-allyl-ACM inhibited EGF-induced migration of A431 cells by inhibiting the farnesylation of H-Ras and subsequent H-Ras-dependent activation of the PI3K/Akt pathway.
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