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Efficient and flexible syntheses of 2-substituted estrone, estradiol and their 3-O-sulfamate (EMATE) derivatives have been developed using directed ortho-lithiation methodology. 2-Substituted EMATEs display a similar antiproliferative activity profile to the corresponding estradiols against a range of human cancer cell lines. 2-Methoxy (3, 4), 2-methylsulfanyl (20, 21) and 2-ethyl EMATEs (32, 33) proved the most active compounds with 2-ethylestradiol-3-O-sulfamate (33), displaying a mean activity over the NCI 55 cell line panel 80-fold greater than the established anticancer agent 2-methoxyestradiol (2). 2-Ethylestradiol-3-O-sulfamate (33) was also an effective inhibitor of angiogenesis using three in vitro markers, and various 2-substituted EMATEs also proved to be inhibitors of steroid sulfatase (STS), a therapeutic target for the treatment of hormone-dependent breast cancer. The potential of this novel class of multimechanism anticancer agents was confirmed in vivo with good activity observed in the NCI hollow fiber assay and in a MDA-MB-435 xenograft mouse model.

Original publication




Journal article


J Med Chem

Publication Date





5243 - 5256


Angiogenesis Inhibitors, Animals, Antineoplastic Agents, Cell Line, Tumor, Cell Proliferation, Crystallography, X-Ray, Drug Screening Assays, Antitumor, Estradiol, Estrone, Female, Humans, Mice, Molecular Structure, Steryl-Sulfatase, Structure-Activity Relationship, Sulfonic Acids, Transplantation, Heterologous