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The design and synthesis of a series of bicyclic ring containing dual aromatase-sulfatase inhibitors (DASIs) based on the aromatase inhibitor (AI) 4-[(4-bromobenzyl)(4H-1,2,4-triazol-4-yl)amino]benzonitrile are reported. Biological evaluation with JEG-3 cells revealed structure-activity relationships. The X-ray crystal structure of sulfamate 23 was determined, and selected compounds were docked into the aromatase and steroid sulfatase (STS) crystal structures. In the sulfamate-containing series, compounds containing a naphthalene ring are both the most potent AI (39, IC(50 AROM)=0.25 nM) and the best STS inhibitor (31, IC(50 STS)=26 nM). The most promising DASI is 39 (IC(50 AROM)=0.25 nM, IC(50 STS)=205 nM), and this was evaluated orally in vivo at 10 mg kg(-1), showing potent inhibition of aromatase (93 %) and STS (93 %) after 3 h. Potent aromatase and STS inhibition can thus be achieved with a DASI containing a bicyclic ring system; development of such a DASI could provide an attractive new option for the treatment of hormone-dependent breast cancer.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1577 - 1593


Antineoplastic Agents, Aromatase, Aromatase Inhibitors, Binding Sites, Cell Line, Tumor, Computer Simulation, Crystallography, X-Ray, Humans, Molecular Conformation, Steryl-Sulfatase, Structure-Activity Relationship, Sulfonic Acids, Triazoles