New complex polycyclic compounds: Synthesis, antiproliferative activity and mechanism of action

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Polycyclic or O-glycoconiugate polycyclic compounds 1a-g were previously tested for their in vitro antiproliferative activity. In this series of compounds, activity increases as log P decreases. Specifically, compounds 1d and 1g showed lower log P values together with the best antiproliferative profiles. With the aim of extending our understanding of the structure–activity relationship (SAR) of this class of compounds, we prepared new polycyclic derivatives 2a-c, which bear on each of the two phenyl rings hydrophilic substituents (OH, SO2NH2 or NHCOCH3). These substituents are able to form hydrogen bonds and to decrease the partition coefficient value as compared with compound 1d. Compound 2a was slightly more active than 1d, while 2b and 2c had antiproliferative activity comparable to that of 1d. Finally, the role of the two phenyl groups of polycycle derivatives 1 was also investigated. The analog 3, which bears two methyls instead of the two phenyls had a lower log P value (2.94 ± 1.22) than all the other compounds, but it had negligible antiproliferative activity at 10 µM. The analysis of the most active derivative 2a revealed a significant antiproliferative activity against the triple-negative breast cancer cell line MDA-MB231. After a 24 h treatment, an autophagic process was activated, as demonstrated by an increase in monodansylcadaverine-positive cells as well as by the appearance of the autophagic markers Beclin and LC3II. Prolonging the treatment to 48 h, 2a caused cytotoxicity through the activation of caspase-dependent apoptosis.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalBioorganic Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Organic Chemistry

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