Defense Date


Graduation Date

Spring 2015


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Medicinal Chemistry

Committee Chair

Aleem Gangjee

Committee Member

Marc Harrold

Committee Member

Patrick Flaherty

Committee Member

David Lapinsky

Committee Member

Lawrence Block


Anticancer Agents, Antiopportunistic Agents, Furo[2, 3-d]pyrimidines, Pyrimido[4, 5-b]indoles, Tubulin Inhibitors


This dissertation describes an introduction, background and research progress in the areas of multitargeted single agents and tubulin inhibitors in cancer chemotherapy and selective Toxoplasma gondii TS inhibitors for the treatment of toxoplasmosis.

Tubulin inhibitors are important antitumor agents that disrupt microtubule dynamics. Thymidylate synthase (TS) inhibitors prevent cell division by interfering with de novo thymidylate synthesis. Antiangiogenic agents target tumor angiogenesis crucial for tumor growth and metastasis. Under normal circumstances, angiogenesis is typically limited to tumor cells and is mediated by receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs). Combination chemotherapies of RTK inhibitors with cytotoxic agents that target either TS or tubulin have shown significant promise and several preclinical and clinical studies with such combinations are in progress. Multitargeted single agents with dual antiangiogenic and cytotoxic mechanisms could avoid the major limitations associated with cancer chemotherapy: multidrug resistance and dose limiting toxicities. This dissertation focuses on the design and synthesis of pyrimido[4,5-b]indoles and furo[2,3-d]pyrimidines as potential single agents with dual antiangiogenic and cytotoxic activities. These efforts led to the identification of structural features that are necessary for inhibition of RTKs and/or tubulin polymerization. Novel synthetic strategies were developed for efficient synthesis of 2,4-diamino-5-thioaryl-pyrimido[4,5-b]indoles and 4-anilino-5-methyl-furo[2,3-d]pyrimidines.

Taxanes and vinca alkaloids are widely used tubulin inhibitors in cancer chemotherapy. However, their clinical use is compromised by two major mechanisms of drug resistance: the overexpression of Pgp and bIII-tubulin. This dissertation describes the design and synthesis of pyrimido[4,5-b]indoles as tubulin inhibitors that circumvent Pgp and bIII-tubulin mediated resistance. This work identified the structural features crucial for tubulin inhibition for the pyrimido[4,5-b]indole scaffold.

Infection by Toxoplasma gondii can lead to toxoplasmosis in immune compromised patients such as organ transplant, cancer and AIDS patients. Current therapy involving combination of sulfadiazine and pyrimethamine is limited by drug resistance and treatment failures. The thymidylate synthase‒dihydrofolate reductase enzyme is important for thymidylate synthesis in T. gondii, and hence can be targeted to treat T. gondii infection. TS is highly conserved across species and selectivity for tgTS over human TS is significantly more challenging. The present work provides an efficient synthesis of 2-diamino-4-oxo-5-thioaryl-pyrimido[4, 5-b]indoles as selective tgTS inhibitors.