Swagatika Das, Praveen K. Roayapalley, Hiroshi Sakagami, Naoki Umemura, Dennis K. J. Gorecki, Mohammad Hossain, Masami Kawase, Umashankar Das, Jonathan R. Dimmock

Dimeric 3,5-Bis(benzylidene)-4-piperidones: Tumor-Selective Cytotoxicity and Structure-Activity Relationships

  • General Medicine

Background: The objective of this study is to find novel antineoplastic agents that display greater toxicity to malignant cells than to neoplasms. In addition, the mechanisms of action of representative compounds are sought. This report describes the cytotoxicity of a number of dimers of 3,5-bis(benzylidene)-4-piperidones against human malignant cells (promyelocytic leukemia HL-60 and squamous cell carcinoma HSC-2, HSC-3, and HSC-4). Methods: Tumor specificity was evaluated by the selectivity index (SI), that is the ratio of the mean CC50 for human non-malignant oral cells (gingival fibroblasts, pulp cells, periodontal ligament fibroblasts) to that for malignant cells. Results: The compounds were highly toxic to human malignant cells. On the other hand, these molecules were less toxic to human non-malignant cells. In particular, a potent lead molecule, 3b, was identified. A QSAR study revealed that the placement of electron-releasing and hydrophilic substituents into the aryl rings led to increases in cytotoxic potencies. The modes of action of a lead compound discovered in this study designated 3b were the activation of caspases-3 and -7, as well as causing PARP1 cleavage and G2 arrest, followed by sub-G1 accumulation in the cell cycle. This compound also depolarized the mitochondrial membrane and generated reactive oxygen species in human colon carcinoma HCT116 cells. In conclusion, this study has revealed that, in general, the compounds described in this report are tumor-selective cytotoxins.

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