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Biochemical and biophysical research communications

A novel quinazoline-based analog induces G2/M cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in human A549 lung cancer cells via a ROS-dependent mechanism.


PMID 28302490

Abstract

6-amino-4-(4-phenoxyphenylethylamino)quinazoline (QNZ) is an excellent quinazoline-containing NF-κB inhibitor also acting as a novel anticancer agent. Considering both the medicinal significance of quinazoline scaffold and the tunable functionality of Michael acceptor-centric pharmacophores in the electrophilicity-based prooxidant strategy, we designed a novel QNZ-inspired electrophilic molecule QNZ-A by introducing a Michael acceptor unit at position-6 of quinazoline ring in QNZ. Our results identified QNZ-A as a promising selective cytotoxic agent against A549 cells. QNZ-A, by virtue of its Michael acceptor unit, induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation associated with collapse of the redox buffering system in A549 cells. This caused up-regulation of p53-inducible p21 and down-regulation of redox sensitive Cdc25C along with Cyclin B1/Cdk1, leading to a G2/M cell cycle arrest and final cell apoptosis. By contrast, QNZ-B, a reduction product of QNZ-A lacking the Michael acceptor unit failed to induce ROS generation and all these cell cycle-related events. In conclusion, this work provided a successful example of designing QNZ-directed anticancer agent by a ROS-promoting strategy and identified QNZ-A as a selective anticancer agent against A549 cells through G2/M cell cycle arrest and apoptosis via a ROS-dependent mechanism.

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