Investigational new drugs

4,5-Diaryl imidazoles with hydroxamic acid appendages as anti-hepatoma agents.

PMID 25410728


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most abundant tumour of the liver with rising patient numbers in the Western world countries. Despite newly approved drugs like protein kinase inhibitors the survival rate is still poor. In order to identify potential new drugs for the treatment of HCC we investigated the real-time cell viability, apoptosis induction (sub-G1 cells), and HDAC (histone deacetylase) activity of two hepatocellular cancer cell lines HepG2 and Hep3B treated with new imidazole-tethered hydroxamates. The tested cinnamyl hydroxamates exhibited significant antiproliferative and cytotoxic activity in HCC cells as apparent from high sub-G1 cell levels in flow cytometric cell cycle analyses. In Hep3B cells HDAC inhibition was observed comparable in magnitude to that induced by the clinically applied HDAC inhibitor SAHA (Zolinza, Vorinostat). The new imidazolyl hydroxamic acids lend themselves as a possible alternative to SAHA in the therapy of HCC. Even more so since similar 4,5-diarylimidazoles lacking only the hydroxamate functionality were previously shown in animal studies to be well tolerated and orally applicable.