In the current article, we introduce design of a new series of 4-(imidazol-5-yl)pyridines with improved anticancer activity and selective B-RAFV600E/p38α kinase inhibitory activity. Based on a previous work, a group of structural modifications were applied affording the new potential antiproliferative agents. Towards extensive biological assessment of the target compounds, an in vitro anticancer assay was conducted over NCI 60-cancer cell lines panel representing blood, lung, colon, CNS, skin, ovary, renal, prostate, and breast cancers. Compounds 7c, 7d, 8b, 9b, 9c, 10c, 10d, and 11b exhibited the highest potency among the tested compounds and demonstrated sub-micromolar or one-digit micromolar GI50 values against the majority of the employed cell lines. Compound 10c emerged as the most potent agent with nano-molar activity over most of the cells and incredible activity against melanoma (MDA-MB-435) cell line (GI50 70 nM). It is much more potent than sorafenib, the clinically used anticancer drug, against almost all the NCI-60 cell lines. Further cell-based mechanistic assays showed that compound 10c induced cell cycle arrest and promoted apoptosis in K562, MCF-7 and HT29 cancer cell lines. In addition, compound 10c induced autophagy in the three cancer cell lines. Kinase profiling of 10c showed its inhibitory effects and selectivity towards B-RAFV600E and p38α kinases with IC50 values of 1.84 and 0.726 µM, respectively. Docking of compound 10c disclosed its high affinity in the kinases pockets. Compound 10c represent a promising anticancer agent, that could be optimized in order to improve its kinase activity aiming at developing potential anticancer agents. The conformational stability of compound 10c in the active site of B-RAFV600E and p38α kinases was studied by applying molecular dynamic simulation of the compound in the two kinases for 600 ns in comparison to the native ligands.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors are grateful to Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) (project 2E30341 and 2E31130 ), National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIT) ( NRF-2021R1A2C1011204 ), the Brain Pool Fellowship Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, and ICT (for MMH: NRF-2018H1D3A1A02074556 and for TD: 2017HID3A1A02054608 ) for financially supporting this work.
- Cell cycle arrest
- Molecular modeling
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmaceutical Science