Desmethylnafoxidine aziridine: An electrophilic affinity label for the estrogen receptor with high efficiency and selectivity

David M. Simpson, Jonathan F. Elliston, John A. Katzenellenbogen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Desmethylnafoxidine aziridine (Naf-Az), an affinity label for the estrogen receptor based structurally on the antiestrogen nafoxidine, has been prepared in unlabeled and in high specific activity, tritium-labeled form and has been evaluated for its apparent competitive binding, and time-dependent irreversible, covalent attachment to the estrogen receptor. Naf-Az was synthesized through a key 1,2-diaryl-3,4-dihydronaphthalene intermediate that was prepared from 6-methoxy-1-tetralone by two routes involving alternate strategies for arylation. Conversion of the diaryldihydronaphthalene to Naf-Az through a series of deprotection-activation reactions culminated in ethyleneimine displacement of a methanesulfonate. The tritium-labeled material was prepared by tritium-iodine exchange on an iodinated methanesulfonate precursor, followed by ethyleneimine displacement. Compared to our previously-prepared reagent tamoxifen aziridine (Tam-Az), Naf-Az has a higher apparent competitive binding affinity, and it reacts with the estrogen receptor in cytosol preparations and in intact MCF-7 breast cancer cells rapidly and with at least comparable efficiency and selectivity. SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoretic analysis confirms its selective labeling of the Mr 66,000 estrogen receptor. Naf-Az should prove to be useful in studies aimed at characterizing the properties and structure of estrogen receptors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-245
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Steroid Biochemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology


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