Synthesis and evaluation of 2-naphthaleno trans-stilbenes and cyanostilbenes as anticancer agents
We have synthesized a small set of novel 2-naphthaleno stilbenes and cyanostilbenes and evaluated several of these compounds for their anticancer properties against a panel of 54 human tumor cell lines. The most active analogs, 5b and 5c, showed significantly improved growth inhibition against the human cancer cells in the NCI panel when compared to DMU-212. Of these compounds, analog 5c was found to be the most potent anticancer agent and exhibited significant growth inhibitory effects against COLO 205, CNS SF 539 and melanoma SK-MEL 5 and MDA-MB-435 cell lines with GI50 values ≤ 25 nM. Analog 5b also exhibited GI50 values in the range 25-41 nM against CNS SF 295 and melanoma MDA-MB-435 and UACC-62 cell lines. Compounds 5b and 5c were also cytotoxic towards the MV4-11 leukemia cell line with LD50 value of 450 nM and 200 nM, respectively, and demonstrated >50% inhibition of tubulin polymerization at concentrations below their LD50 values in these cells. In silico docking studies suggest that compounds 5b and 5c bind favorably at the colchicine- binding pocket of the tubulin dimer, indicating that both 5b and 5c may inhibit tubulin polymerization through a mechanism similar to that exhibited by colchicine. Derivative 5c demonstrated more favorable binding based on the docking score and buried surface area, as compared to compound 5b, in agreement with the higher observed potency of 5c against a broader range of tumor cell lines. Based on these results, analog 5c is considered to be a lead compound for further optimization as a clinical candidate for treating a variety of cancers.