Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry

[(2-Phenylindol-3-yl)methylene]propanedinitriles inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells by cell cycle arrest in G(2)/M phase and apoptosis.

PMID 17889547


Cell cycle arrest of malignant cells is an important option for cancer treatment. In this study, we modified the structure of antimitotic 2-phenylindole-3-carbaldehydes by condensation with malononitrile. The resulting methylene propanedinitriles inhibited the growth of MDA-MB 231 and MCF-7 breast cancer cells with IC(50) values below 100 nM. Though they exhibited similar structure-activity relationships as the aldehydes, they did not inhibit tubulin polymerization but were capable of blocking the cell cycle in G(2)/M phase. The cell cycle arrest was accompanied by apoptosis as demonstrated by the activation of caspases 3 and 9. Since the new 2-phenylindole derivatives also inhibited the growth of transplanted MXT mouse mammary tumors, they are interesting candidates for further development.