Investigation of pH and substituent effects on the distribution ratio of novel steroidal ring D- and A-fused arylpyrazole regioisomers and evaluation of their cell-growth inhibitory effectsin vitro

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Novel androstanopyrazoles have been efficiently synthesized from steroidal β-ketoaldehydes with different arylhydrazine hydrochlorides both under acidic and basic conditions. Knorr-type transformations of 16-hydroxymethylene-dehydroepiandrosterone containing its 1,3-dicarbonyl moiety on ring D, proved to be regioselective in pyridine at room temperature, while mixtures of regioisomers were obtained in acidic EtOH under reflux. Contrarily, the cyclocondensation reactions of 2-hydroxymethylene-dihydrotestosterone bearing its reactive functionalities on ring A, led to a mixture of pyrazole regioisomers in varying ratio depending on the applied medium. The regioisomeric distribution was found to depend on the electronic character of the substituent of the phenylhydrazine applied. After separating the related isomers by column chromatography, they were subjected to in vitro pharmacological studies to investigate their antiproliferative activities against three human breast malignant cell lines (MCF7, T47D, MDA-MB-231). Flow cytometry revealed that the most potent agents elicited a cell cycle disturbance on MDA-MB-231 and T47D cells.

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