European journal of medicinal chemistry

Design, synthesis and biological evaluation of arylcinnamide hybrid derivatives as novel anticancer agents.

PMID 24858544


The combination of two pharmacophores into a single molecule represents one of the methods that can be adopted for the synthesis of new anticancer molecules. A series of novel antiproliferative agents designed by a pharmacophore hybridization approach, combining the arylcinnamide skeleton and an α-bromoacryloyl moiety, was synthesized and evaluated for its antiproliferative activity against a panel of seven human cancer cell lines. In addition, the new derivatives were also active on multidrug-resistant cell lines over-expressing P-glycoprotein. The biological effects of various substituents on the N-phenyl ring of the benzamide portion were also described. In order to study the possible mechanism of action, we observed that 4p slightly increased the Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) production in HeLa cells, but, more importantly, a remarkable decrease of intracellular reduced glutathione content was detected in treated cells compared with controls. These results were confirmed by the observation that only thiol-containing antioxidants were able to significantly protect the cells from induced cell death. Altogether our results indicate that the new derivatives are endowed with good anticancer activity in vitro, and their properties may result in the development of new cancer therapeutic strategies.