A series of 7,12-dihydroindolo[3,2-d]benzazepine-6(5H)-ones (paullones) substituted at C9/C10 (Br) and C2 (Me, CF3, CO2Me) have been synthesized by a one-pot Suzuki–Miyaura cross-coupling of an o-aminoarylboronic acid and methyl 2-iodoindoleacetate followed by intramolecular amide formation. Other approaches to the paullone scaffold based on Pd-catalyzed C–H activation were unsuccessful. In vitro enzymatic assay with recombinant human SIRT-1 indicated a strong inhibitory profile for the series, in particular the analogue with a methoxycarbonyl group at C2 and a bromine at C9. These compounds are, in general, inducers of granulocyte differentiation of the U937 acute leukemia cell line and cause a marked increase in pre-G1 of the cell cycle.
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