We previously reported that 9-methylstreptimidone, a piperidine compound isolated from a culture filtrate of Streptomyces, induces apoptosis selectively in adult T-cell leukemia cells. It was screened for a compound that inhibits LPS-induced NF-κB and NO production in mouse macrophages. However, 9-methystreptimidone is poorly obtained from the producing microorganism and difficult to synthesize. Therefore, in the present research, we studied the structure-activity relationship to look for new selective inhibitors. We found that the structure of the unsaturated hydrophobic portion of 9-methylstreptimidone was essential for the inhibition of LPS-induced NO production. Among the 9-methylstreptimidone-related compounds tested, (±)-4,α-diepi-streptovitacin A inhibited NO production in macrophage-like cells as potently as 9-methylstreptimidone and without cellular toxicity. Moreover, this compound selectively induced apoptosis in adult T-cell leukemia MT-1 cells.
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