Novel tranylcypromine/hydroxylcinnamic acid hybrids 15a, b, and 19a-l were designed and synthesized by connecting tranylcypromine with hydroxylcinnamic acid, and their biological activities were evaluated. The in vitro assay of their inhibitory activities against lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1) showed that most of the target compounds displayed high potency with IC50 values ranging from submicromolar to single-digit micromolar levels. In particular, compound 19l had robust, selective LSD1 inhibitory activity, which was obviously higher than the inhibitory activity against homologues monoamine oxidase-A (MAO-A) and MAO-B, respectively. Furthermore, the most potent compound 19l selectively inhibited cancer cell but not nontumor colon cell proliferation in vitro. In addition, compound 19l also dose-dependently increased the expression of H3K4me2 at the cellular level. Our findings suggest that tranylcypromine/hydroxylcinnamic acid hybrids as LSD1 inhibitors may hold great promise as therapeutic agents for the treatment of human cancers.
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