Synthesis and serotonin transporter activity of sulphur-substituted α-alkyl phenethylamines as a new class of anticancer agents
Serotonin Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins
The discovery that some serotonin reuptake transporter (SERT) ligands have the potential to act as pro-apoptotic agents in the treatment of cancer adds greatly to their diverse pharmacological application. 4-Methylthioamphetamine (MTA) is a selective ligand for SERT over other monoamine transporters. In this study, a novel library of structurally diverse 4-MTA analogues were synthesised with or without N-alkyl and/or C-alpha methyl or ethyl groups so that their potential SERT-dependent antiproliferative activity could be assessed. Many of the compounds displayed SERT-binding activity as well as cytotoxic activity. While there was no direct correlation between these two effects, a number of derivatives displayed anti-tumour effects in lymphoma, leukaemia and breast cancer cell lines, showing further potential to be developed as possible chemotherapeutic agents.